Former Telegraph CEO appointed to oversee trade between Wales and England after Brexit
The UK Government’s Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has appointed a former CEO of the Telegraph newspaper company to oversee trade between Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland after Brexit.
Murdoch MacLennan, who was CEO of the Telegraph Media Group and is now a Non-Executive Director, has been appointed the first chairman of the Office for the Internal Market Panel.
The Welsh Government have previously condemned the UK Government’s plans to regulate the internal UK market after Brexit as a “power grab”, saying that it took away devolved governments’ ability to resist access to products agreed as part of any trade deals made by the UK Government.
After the legislation passed, the Internal Market Panel was set up by the Government to oversee internal trade between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales after Brexit and will be overseen by the Competition and Markets Authority.
Mr MacLennan will also join the competition and Markets Authority as a non-executive as the Internal Market Panel falls under the watchdog’s remit.
Mr Kwarteng said: “The independent Office for the Internal Market will ensure we can maintain the effectiveness of the United Kingdom’s internal market to ensure it continues to work for business and consumers.
“With Murdoch MacLennan at the helm, I am confident the body will go from strength to strength as we bolster the benefits of trade to all parts of our great country.”
Mr MacLennan said: “The OIM’s latest analysis puts the value of the UK internal market at more than £190 billion annually, so it is vital that it works effectively.
“I am delighted to be appointed as chair of the OIM Panel and I look forward to working with each of the four governments.
“Our mission is to establish the OIM as a trusted centre of excellence on the internal market which benefits the whole of the UK.”
In 2020, before the legislation was passed, the Welsh Government warned that the Internal Market Act was a “direct attack on the current mode of devolution” and said that the legislation would “emasculate the current rights of the devolved institutions to implement changes to the regulatory environment”.
“The Welsh government is concerned that the long-term survival of the United Kingdom is under great strain and that the approach taken in the white paper will exacerbate those tensions in a way which, if not addressed, will accelerate the break-up of the Union,” then Counsel General Jeremy Miles said.
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