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UK Internal Market Bill: Update

September 30, 2020

On Tuesday 29 September 2020 the House of Commons approved the UK Internal Market Bill (the Bill).

As discussed previously on the Blog, the Bill was introduced on 9 September 2020 with the aim of protecting the integrity of the UK’s internal market by ensuring that any goods that meet relevant regulatory requirements relating to sale in the part of the UK it is produced in or imported into, to be sold in any other part of the UK without having to adhere to relevant regulatory requirements in that other part.

During its passage through the House of Commons, several amendments were made to the Bill. Most notably, on the 16 September 2020 an amendment was inserted into Clause 54, stating that Clause 42, 43 and 45, which relate to the Northern Ireland Protocol, can only be commenced with approval from the House of Commons and once it has been referred to in a motion tabled in the House of Lords.

Two further amendments were also agreed and inserted into the Bill on 29 September 2020 regarding the role of the Competition and Markets Authority: firstly referencing that their objective will be to support “the effective operation of the UK internal market through the provision of economic and technical advice and expertise”; and secondly giving them the power to authorise an Office for the Internal Market task group to carry out its functions to do anything required or authorised to be done by the CMA under Part 4 of the Bill.

The Bill will now move to be considered by the House of Lords.