Elaine Fahey and Isabella Mancini
“Understanding the EU as a Good Global Governance Actor: ambitions, direction and values” is the provisional title of a book project forthcoming with Edward Elgar in 2022 and edited by (Elaine Fahey City Law School) and Isabella Mancini (City Law School/ Brunel Law School).
The deal between the UK and the EU has not put an end to their talks. As negotiations will continue on a number of fronts, UK-EU parliamentary cooperation will be essential to ensure that citizens’ interests are taken into account. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) sets out that the European Parliament and the UK Parliament may establish a Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) that would provide a forum for exchanges of views. It is still unclear whether and when a PPA will be created. As the TCA suggests, its establishment appears to be voluntary and at the discretion of the legislatures from both sides. So far, the parliamentary dimension within the overarching governance of the TCA has remained at an embryonic stage, leaving many questions unanswered. Yet the PPA would not be the only channel for parliamentary cooperation and other formats could develop.
Despite the rhetoric to diverge from the EU, the UK Government recently proposed a controversial piece of legislation for the functioning of a UK “Internal Market”, parroting with this language what has typically been an EU construction.
Brexit means that the UK will have to manage its internal trade, without being subject to EU rules. The UK Internal Market Bill has been introduced to ensure the free flow of goods and services between England and the devolved nations (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). The Government fears that, once the UK will be untangled from EU law, there regulatory divergence will create barriers and costs for internal trade. Whether the Bill was necessary at all to achieve this aim is still hotly debated. The widespread opposition it received from the Lords, not to mention the legal action launched by the EU Commission, suggest that, in its current form, it was not.