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Common Frameworks Analysis

Volume 657: debated on Thursday 4 April 2019

I am today placing in the Libraries of both Houses a copy of the revised UK common frameworks analysis, which is also available on gov.uk. When the UK leaves the European Union, powers previously exercised at EU level that intersect with devolved competence will flow back directly to Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. In some areas, we will need to maintain UK wide approaches, or common frameworks, after we leave the EU. Frameworks will create a common approach across the UK in a range of policy areas. They will provide a number of benefits, including ensuring it remains simple for businesses from different parts of the UK to trade with each other, helping the UK to fulfil its international obligations, safeguarding our common resources and ensure the effective functioning of the UK internal market.

The revised analysis sets out the progress we have made to develop common frameworks in collaboration with the devolved administrations since the first analysis was published in March 2018. There is a reduction in the number of policy areas where primary legislation is being considered, from 24 to 21, in these areas only some of the elements of the framework are expected to be in legislation. In the majority of areas (reduced from 82 to 78), non-legislative arrangements, such as a concordat, are being considered. The number of areas where no further action is required to create a framework has increased from 49 to 63. In these areas, to ensure certainty for businesses is maintained, the UK Government and devolved administrations will continue to cooperate when appropriate. Finally, there are now only four areas where competence is disputed, and conversations between the UK Government and devolved administrations continue (reduced from 12 in the first publication), demonstrating the significant progress made in this area. These changes demonstrate the careful and considered joint work underway to establish common frameworks, which in some areas has led to reclassification.

The co-operative approach to frameworks so far demonstrates the progress that can be achieved through proceeding collaboratively. We welcome the commitment demonstrated by the Scottish and Welsh Governments to agree on the direction of travel set out in the analysis and to continued close working to develop frameworks. We also welcome the commitment to co-operative working, including in policy areas where no formal common frameworks are required.

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