United Kingdom Internal Market Bill: Strength of Union

Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at on 17 December 2020.

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Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

What assessment he has made of the effect on the strength of the Union of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill.

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

For centuries, the ability to trade freely without barriers across the United Kingdom has been the cornerstone of our shared prosperity, and the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill will help to maintain this integrated market to ensure the free flow of goods and services throughout the UK.

Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

The majority support for independence in the last 17 polls in a row—58% this morning—is in part due to how Scotland has been treated by the Minister and his colleagues since the Brexit referendum. It is exemplified by the dictatorial United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, which rips the devolution settlement apart and is now the subject of legal challenge. Why are the UK Government unilaterally legislating without legislative consent with the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill when the required common frameworks could have been negotiated with the devolved nations, as they are still at the table?

Photo of Michael Gove Michael Gove Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question. As he knows, I am a great admirer of him and of his colleague Alex Neil. One of the things about the approach that we are taking is that common frameworks work alongside the internal market Bill. Indeed, the House of Lords confirmed that approach just this week.