UK internal market: initial assessment of UK Government proposals

Initial Scottish Government assessment of the threat to devolution, regulatory standards, businesses and jobs.

The consultation

The UK Government’s White Paper on the “UK Internal market” was published for consultation on 16 July.  The consultation period closes on 13 August.  The paper says (on page 13):

The consultation seeks the views of businesses, academics, consumer groups and trade unions on the policy options set out in this White Paper through proposals to enshrine in law two principles to protect the flow of goods and services in the UK’s Internal Market: the principle of mutual recognition, and the principle of non-discrimination.

The paper also says (at paragraph 70 on page 31):

The purpose of this White Paper is to set out the Government’s plan for the key objectives and application in UK of our Internal Market system for the whole of the UK, and to seek additional stakeholder views on some of the details of how this system should function.

It is therefore unclear whether the UK Government is seeking views on the overall policy set out in the paper, or only on the detail of implementation having already settled on its overall policy intention, whatever the views of the other governments of the UK and stakeholders.   Neither approach, in our view, is acceptable and neither will be accepted by the Scottish Government.

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