It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Graham.
The most important element of the debate around this Bill and its amendments is that the most successful union of nations in the world continues to thrive. The UK’s internal market has functioned seamlessly for centuries. Amendments to this Bill should be accepted only if they make this market more effective. We all have a duty in this House to prioritise that. The Government are absolutely right to ensure that there are no internal barriers to trade within the UK following the end of the transition period, so that business is able to trade unhindered across the United Kingdom.
As has been mentioned in this debate, the Bill establishes the Office for the Internal Market within the Competition and Markets Authority to provide independent and technical advice to Parliament and the devolved Administrations together on regulations that may seek to damage the UK internal market. It will be responsible for monitoring and reporting on our own internal market, and it will do so impartially, away from the undue influence of Ministers, whether here at Westminster or in the devolved Administrations. This is important for obvious reasons. Ministers want and need technical advice. Goods and services must move unhindered and conform to the same standards and requirements whether they are sold in Peterborough, in Paisley, in Prestatyn or in Portrush.