The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has submitted a response to the UK Government’s consultation on its UK Internal Market White Paper.
The Advice Paper produced by the RSE – which was also submitted to the Scottish Parliament Finance and Constitution Committee and circulated to MSPs – stated that the Society remained unconvinced that the legislation proposed by the UK Government was necessary for the UK Internal Market to function successfully.
The RSE highlighted, once again, the need for improved intergovernmental relations between the different political units of the UK and argued that a new Independent Secretariat could play an important role in achieving this. This Secretariat could also serve to help develop the UK Internal Market and use an analytical capacity to solve problems or disputes that may arise.
The importance of upholding the devolution settlement was stressed by RSE with the Advice Paper arguing that any decisions regarding the UK Internal Market which have implications for devolution or impinge on devolved competences should look to adhere to the principles of subsidiarity (that action should be taken at the most local level practicable) and proportionality (that this action should only be broad enough to achieve its aims and no more). The presumption must remain that consent of the devolved administrations is sought and required.
The full Advice Paper can be accessed here.