After the end of the transition period, the UK government and the devolved administrations will no longer be collectively bound by EU law.
As powers over key policy areas return to the UK government and the devolved administrations, there is a possibility that different parts of the UK may in future make different rules.
This could create barriers to trade between constituent parts of the UK.
The UK Internal Market (UKIM) Bill would rely on the principles of mutual recognition and non-discrimination to ensure there are no new barriers for businesses trading across the UK.
The UK government has argued that this bill will be necessary to underpin the functioning of the UK internal market after the end of the transition period – but the Scottish and Welsh governments are opposed to this approach. Instead, they would prefer to manage any possible new barriers to trade through mutually-agreed common frameworks in specific policy areas.
The government has also used this bill to give ministers powers to amend how the UK could implement the Northern Ireland protocol – already agreed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement – if it can’t reach key decisions with the EU.
The government has said that it will use the Finance Bill to give ministers further powers with relation to the Northern Ireland protocol.
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