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Progress needed on delivering common frameworks

17 December 2020

The Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee has written to Chloe Smith MP, Minister for the Constitution and Devolution, to share its views of the common frameworks programme, based on its experience of the scrutiny process and evidence received to date. The Committee calls for further progress to be made in delivering the common frameworks and asks for a number of changes to ensure Parliament has sufficient information to effectively scrutinise the frameworks after the end of the transition period.  

Background information

The House of Lords Common Frameworks Scrutiny Committee was appointed on 17 September to scrutinise and consider matters relating to common frameworks. Since then the Committee has considered ten Framework Summaries and three Provisional Frameworks.

As part of its ongoing inquiry into ‘Post-Brexit common frameworks’, the Committee has taken oral evidence from the Scottish and Welsh Governments, leading academics, representatives from the food and retail in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the UK Government. Members of the Committee have also met with the Northern Ireland Assembly, and it has received written evidence from a cross-section of organisations.

Today the Committee has written to the Minister to share the emerging insights from its work to date:

  • The Committee expresses its support for the common frameworks programme in enabling the functioning of the UK internal market, which has demonstrated the ability of the four governments of the UK to cooperate and develop policy in a range of areas.
  • The Committee is disappointed at the major delays in delivering the common frameworks programme. It argues that the introduction of the Internal Market Bill has had a detrimental impact on the development of the programme and has created uncertainty about how the frameworks will operate in practice.
  • The Committee emphasises the need to improve the frameworks by providing greater detail, particularly on the role of Northern Ireland and the implications of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
  • The Committee believes that the Government needs to increase transparency and plan for future parliamentary scrutiny of the frameworks. It also asks a number of questions about how this scrutiny will work after the end of the transition period.

Further information