Thank you for contacting me about the Internal Markets Bill.
The Internal Markets Bill will help us facilitate trade between nations of the United Kingdom as we reach the end of the transition period on 31st December.
The government has made considerable progress in negotiating a deal with the European Union over the past nine months. However, during the course of the negotiations, it has become clear that the European Union may be willing to use the Northern Irish protocol within the Withdrawal Agreement in ways never intended.
This could mean that unless the UK agrees to the EU’s terms, they may impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish sea.
Without the action contained within the Internal Markets Bill to preserve the status quo, there could be new barriers to trade between different parts of the UK. This could result in unnecessary red tape for business and additional costs for consumers.
With that in mind, we need to take action to protect our internal markets. The Internal Markets Bill contains powers the government does not want to use but provides a legal safety-net to prevent new barriers to trade within the UK and provides businesses with the certainty they need going forward.
I believe that the government has a sincere determination to secure a deal with the European Union. Significant progress has been made across several areas in recent weeks, and the technical detail is well understood by both sides. There remains a great deal of good will and the differences that remain are largely of a political nature. There is still time and scope for both parties to come to a deal and it would be wrong to anticipate failure in negotiations which at this stage are still ongoing.
This is why I supported the government in the passing of this bill.
Thank you again for writing to me.