What is the Internal Market Bill?
The Internal Market Bill was introduced by the UK government to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period. At that point, the UK will leave the EU internal market, including the common rules that support it. The government is concerned that this could lead to the UK’s four nations having different rules that make it harder for businesses to trade across the UK.
Two principles are at the heart of the Bill. Mutual recognition ensures that goods or services that can be sold legally in any one of the UK’s territories can be sold in any part of the UK, without having to meet local laws. Non-discrimination means that goods or services coming into one of the four nations from another must be treated the same as those produced locally. The Bill is very controversial because of its potential to weaken devolution and its departure from commitments made in the European Union Withdrawal Agreement.