During the passage of the UK Internal Market Act my ministerial colleagues made clear that the powers under the Act may be used to give effect to agreements reached within a Common Framework regarding exclusions from the market access principles. The Government brought forward amendments to delegated powers under the Act to that effect.
The relevant powers, under sections 10 and 18 of the Act, permit a Secretary of State, by regulations, to amend the schedules of the Act so that “certain cases, matters, requirements, or provision” can be excluded from the application of the Act’s market access principles. A process for agreeing such exclusions in areas of policy divergence within a Common Framework has been developed by the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations. A copy has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and will be published on the UK Government’s website www.gov.uk.
New exclusions from the UK Internal Market Act’s market access principles require the approval of both Houses of Parliament through the affirmative resolution procedure. Accordingly, where agreement to such an exclusion is reached within a Common Framework, the relevant department and minister will seek that approval by laying a draft statutory instrument before Parliament in accordance with the UK Internal Market Act.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords