Boris Johnson to limit UK nations’ power to deviate on trade policy



Denis Staunton | The Irish Times

SNP leader at Westminster accuses prime minister of staging a power grab

Boris Johnson’s government has published plans to ensure a “level playing field” for trade between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom by curbing the devolved administrations’ exercise of powers that will be repatriated from Brussels at the end of this year. Powers in at least 70 policy areas will return from the EU to the devolved administrations, but the British government wants to be able to ensure that no new measures create barriers to trade within the UK.

It is proposing a principle of mutual recognition so that regulations from one part of the UK will be recognised across the country and a principle of non-discrimination to create “a level playing field for companies trading in the UK, regardless of where in the UK the business is based”.

Cabinet office minister Michael Gove presented the plan as an exercise in co-operation between London and the devolved administrations after the “power surge” of repatriated competences.

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