September 9, 2020
For the last 300 years our country has enjoyed unhindered trade and prosperity between our home nations.
As the transition period ends, we will ensure the most successful union of nations in the world continues to thrive. We are delivering on our manifesto commitment to ensure unfettered free trade across the United Kingdom.
That’s why today we’ve introduced our UK Internal Market Bill to guarantee free and fair trade spreading economic development equally across the whole of the UK.
Previously, as members of the EU, rules that have regulated how each home nation trades with each other have come from European laws.
From 1 January 2021, the UK Internal Market Bill means that many powers previously exercised at an EU level will instead flow directly to the devolved administrations in Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont. Thanks to this Bill, powers in at least 70 policy areas previously exercised at an EU level will flow directly to the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast for the first time.
As unthinkable as it would seem, without this vital piece of legislation businesses across the UK would face unprecedented barriers and costs. A Welsh lamb farmer could be unable to easily sell lamb in Scotland as they can do now. A Scotch whisky producer could lose total access to English barley. And a car built in England could be more expensive to buy in Northern Ireland.
The Bill will ensure we can continue to cooperate across the UK to overcome coronavirus together, while preserving the frictionless trade which is essential to our economic recovery.
Whilst ensuring your unhindered access to every corner of our country may seem like the most obvious thing in the world to you and I, it’s not that simple for everyone.
The SNP are playing political games with our Union and economic recovery, attempting to block this legislation in endless pursuit of their separatist agenda. They walked away from working on making sure Scottish businesses could trade across the UK, showing they really don’t care about supporting businesses in Scotland.
Instead, their own Continuity Bill states that SNP Ministers would seek to align Scots law with EU law in devolved areas, showing that the SNP just want to hand back the 100 new powers they are set to receive straight back to Brussels.
Our UK Internal Market Bill will help safeguard the half a million Scottish jobs rely on trade with the rest of the United Kingdom, and protect the £50 billion worth of Scottish goods and services that are exported across our United Kingdom.
The SNP are just trying to use this Bill to stir up nationalist grievances and push their separatist agenda.
Even now, in the middle of a pandemic, Sturgeon’s primary focus is drafting a bill for a second Scottish independence referendum, instead of helping businesses to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of playing constitutional games and aggravating for an unwanted second independence referendum, the SNP should be focusing on the day job and working with the UK Government to help to protect jobs, livelihoods, and trade at this time of economic crisis.
The Prime Minister has been clear that we're going to end the transition period this year.
The Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said the following about the UK Internal Market Bill:
For centuries the UK’s internal market has been the cornerstone of our shared prosperity, delivering unparalleled stability and economic growth across the Union.
Today’s Bill will protect our highly integrated market by guaranteeing that companies can continue to trade unhindered in every part of the UK after the Transition Period ends and EU law falls away.
By providing clarity over rules that will govern the UK economy after we take back control of our money and laws, we can increase investment and create new jobs across the United Kingdom, while our maintaining world-leading standards for consumers, workers, food and the environment.
Without these necessary reforms, the way we trade goods and services between the home nations could be seriously impacted, harming the way we do business within our own borders. Now is not the time to create uncertainty for business with new barriers and additional costs that would trash our chances of an economic recovery.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”