Internal Market Bill of UK: Key Facts

United Kingdom’s Internal Market Bill is a public bill passed on September 9, 2020. The UK Internal Market Bill aims to make trade arrangements for all four countries of UK- England, Scotland, and Wales and Northern Ireland after the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020. The bill is designed to protect jobs and trade and wants to put common laws for trade across the whole of UK.

The Internal Market Bill has become very controversial as it is said to violate the provisions of Withdrawal Agreement signed between UK and European Union.

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On November 9, 2020; the House of Lords voted against the controversial clauses of the Internal Market Bill. The House voted by 433 to 165 against the bill will allows UK to go back on the obligations made in the Withdrawal Agreement. The bill will not return to the house before the end of November.

What is Withdrawal Agreement?

Withdrawal Agreement is the agreement between the United Kingdom and European Union stating the terms and conditions for leaving E, commonly known as Brexit. It was signed on January 24, 2020.

Why did the House of Lords vote against the bill?

  • The House of Lords voted against the bill due to many controversial clauses in the bill, mainly clauses 40 to 45. The House highlighted that the bill tends to break international law.
  • Clause 42 allows the ministers to modify and disapply the exit procedures of Article 5 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
  • Clause 43 also allows Secretary of State to interpret, modify and disapply Article 10 of the Protocol.
  • Because of these clauses, the Internal Market bill has been opposed at the house.

What is the Northern Ireland protocol?

The Northern Ireland protocol says that Northern Ireland will remain part of the customs territory of UK so if it signs a free trade deal with another country, Northern Irish goods would also be included. However, the Northern Ireland will have to follow some EU rules to allow the free movement of goods into the Republic.

Background

United Kingdom voted to leave European Union in a referendum in 2016. After many negotiations, UK left EU on February 1, 2020 but agreed on the withdrawal agreement before the final transition on December 31, 2020.

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