Home > Policy > CONSULTATION RESPONSE: UK Internal Market

14 August 2020 | Economy




The UK Government’s UK Internal Market White Paper makes legislative proposals to protect the seamless trade of goods, services, capital and people across the UK after the UK leave the EU.

We met with both the UK Government and the Scottish Government during the short consultation period to discuss their respective positions. We were pleased to host virtual roundtables for members with Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Alister Jack MP, Secretary of State for Scotland, as well as with Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business and Constitutional Relations.

SCDI is not convinced that the legislative approach proposed in the White Paper is the right priority. Mutually agreed common frameworks should be the foundation of the UK internal market, rather than the imposition of a single approach across the UK in devolved policy areas.

We therefore believe that the UK Government, the Scottish Government and the other devolved administrations should:

  • Work together constructively to reach mutual agreement between the four nations on a path forward.
  • Protect seamless trade across the UK to prevent new barriers and costs for Scottish business and consumers.
  • Respect and protect Scotland’s devolution settlement in recognition of the democratic and economic rationale for policy differences or divergence and the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity.
  • Provide clarity and transparency to Scottish business on how existing and future devolved policies would be affected by the proposals.
  • Improve governance proposals to support intergovernmental negotiations towards agreements, resolve any disputes and enforce the rules.

You can download our full response below, with its advice and recommendations to both governments.