The RSE has submitted a response to a consultation by the Competition and Markets Authority on their Draft Guidance for the new Office for the Internal Market. The response provides general comments on the guidance before providing specific comments on each section of the guidance. The RSE presents several considerations and recommendations, with three of the main recommendations being that:
- The CMA should conduct an initial investigation to explore the nature of the UK’s internal market by researching and analysing existing research. This will assist it in understanding what the market looks like to ensure the OIM has a well-defined remit and is adequately resourced from an informational perspective.
- The guidance should note that policy divergence is a likely outcome within a multi-level governance system and that this should not automatically be viewed unfavourably. There is little evidence that divergence and lack of central regulation lead to trade barriers.
- The guidance should recognise that other public policy areas will impact regulation and trade and present how the CMA/OIM will interact with these via the national authorities. Although the OIM is an advisory and not a regulatory body, it must cover devolved aspects and market aspects. This may require the OIM to broaden its scope or, if not, require another body, such as an Independent Secretariat, to be established. This is a change that the RSE has consistently recommended would be beneficial
Professor Jo Shaw