Responding to the publication of the Internal Market Bill, the IoD has stated that securing continuity across the UK is an important aim, and that it is imperative that the UK government and devolved administrations work collaboratively to achieve this.
Allie Renison, Head of Europe and Trade Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
"Directors want to see as much predictability and stability as possible when the Brexit transition period ends. Keeping disruption of trading arrangements to a minimum is crucial, particularly as the Withdrawal Agreement provides for unprecedented new arrangements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
"Codifying the UK Internal Market in law for continuity purposes after Brexit is an important aim, but further clarity is still needed for directors to understand the full practical operation of them. At present, EU law provides a transparent level playing field for businesses, where enforcement and dispute settlement rules are clear. Maintaining that clarity for commerce across the UK once transition ends is critical. However, directors will be wary of any moves that could increase the likelihood of no deal.
"It is imperative the UK Government and devolved administrations work collaboratively in good faith on both the Internal Market agenda and Common Frameworks programme. The complexity of our commercial and constitutional disentanglement from the EU must be handled carefully to give businesses maximum confidence about the future as we navigate our economic recovery. This is especially important in considering how all future trade arrangements interact with the Internal Market framework.
"The current Bill serves as a reminder of how crucial it is for the UK and EU to reach an agreement on their future relationship. Many important questions about the future rules for trade and industry are still subject to negotiations, and we urge both sides to maximise their efforts on finding a comprehensive deal that avoids tariffs. Directors will also have significant new questions around the practical implications of the Bill's disapplying provisions to parts of the Northern Ireland protocol."