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UK to publish controversial Internal Market Bill Wednesday

U.K. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove | Leon Neal/Getty Images

UK to publish controversial Internal Market Bill Wednesday

The bill will transfer certain powers from the EU to the devolved UK nations, but some have called it a ‘power grab’ by Westminster.

By

9/8/20, 11:30 PM CET

Updated 9/9/20, 4:44 AM CET

LONDON — The U.K. government will publish a new bill to regulate the country’s internal market on Wednesday.

The Internal Market Bill will transfer powers to regulate issues such as food standards and environmental policy, previously held by the EU, to the devolved administrations of the four U.K. nations. It will also seek to harmonize standards across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31.

The plan is designed to prevent new barriers to trade between the four nations of the U.K., but also to avoid conflict with the multiple international trade deals rolling over as the U.K. leaves the bloc, or with any new trade agreements London might strike.

The bill will create an Office for the Internal Market (OIM), an overarching, independent monitoring body that will examine changes coming through the devolved legislatures, analyze their impact and give “technical advice to parliament and the devolved administrations on regulation that may damage the U.K.’s internal market” in a non-binding process.

It will also seek to seize powers to design U.K.-wide funding programs and replace EU cash for projects in the four nations, but won’t provide new money for them.

“No longer will unelected EU bodies be spending our money on our behalf …

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