The Backbencher questions the Prime Minister on the Market Access Commitment

Last week we looked at a brief introduction to UK Internal Market white paper, so this week we delve further into it to ask the Prime Minister some more questions. The Government is wanting to enshrine into law the Market Access Commitment, so to begin with let us explore this further to ascertain what it means.

The reason behind enshrining into law the Market Access Commitment is so both citizens and businesses will have a legal commitment that they will have an equal right to access to all parts of the UK Internal Market. The Government argues that, without the MAC, there would be instability and regional differences between the different parts of the UK when the transition period ends. With Northern Ireland, it is important that they have unhindered access to the UK Internal Market whilst observing certain market rules from the EU on goods, which is set out in the Northern Ireland Protocol in the May 2020 Command Paper.

Whilst I agree there needs to be a framework for businesses to operate across the borders of the devolved territories, I would like to ask the PM: “Does he agree that business needs the freedom to trade freely within the borders of the devolved territories, to include the price of goods as overheads within the devolved territory will be substantially less than transporting goods across the UK?”

By giving businesses the freedom to price goods without being tied into a pricing mechanism, goods can be cheaper for those people living and working within the territory and therefore making the territory an attractive place to live, increasing social mobility and competition between the territories.

The paper goes on to look into securing investment, noting that the Government will look at what spending powers it needs to make the Internal Market strong. My second question to the PM and also to the Chancellor is: “With the Treasury spending billions of pounds during the Covid-19 pandemic, where will the funds be coming from to enhance the Internal Market?

“Is the Government looking at tax increases, when we should be looking at genuine tax cuts?”

As I have mentioned before, the Government needs to create the right environment to pull private investment into the Internal Market. Both myself and many other libertarians believe a low–tax economy will be the catalyst to make this happen.

If we look at the Laffer Curve, explained by Art Laffer in an Institute of Economic Affairs video, there is an economic boost to tax revenues if a government keeps taxes low – the tax base increases, bringing in more tax revenue.

The paper also states that the UK Government will not adopt such close supervision of the Internal Market as the EU does with its own Single Market. This is something I agree with, as we do not need another quango to monitor the market and the Government needs to refrain from planning too much for the Market. F. A. Hayek makes this point in his book The Road to Serfdom, where he states:

“We have already seen that the close interdependence of all the economic phenomena makes it difficult to stop planning just where we wish, and that once the free working of the market is impeded beyond a certain degree, the planner will be forced to extend his controls till they become all-comprehensive.”

Next week, will look further into the governance, independent advice and monitoring that the Government is looking to implement for the UK Internal Market.

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