Review set up to cut burdens for businesses in new post-Brexit regulatory framework and improve customer outcomes.
Cut burdens for businesses in new post-Brexit regulatory framework and improve customer outcomes
Seeking to establish what works well, what needs improving and boost performance
Around 90 regulators in the UK covering most sectors cost around £5 billion a year
The UK Government is today announcing an in-depth review into all regulators across the country. The 12 week call for evidence will seek to capitalise on our post-Brexit freedoms to bring about Smarter Regulation to the economy. The review will seek to ensure regulators are working efficiently and delivering on reforms needed to help grow the economy and protect consumers.
The 12 week call for evidence will seek views of businesses, consumers and regulators to establish areas that are working well as well as where regulators could improve. It comes as part of the wider Smarter Regulation Programme, which aims to bring about more effective and less burdensome regulations across the economy.
There are 90 regulators in the UK, and 39 per cent of small businesses say red tape holds them back. This review will identify the changes to the regulatory landscape that will really make a difference to economic growth, as well as improving the outcomes for consumers and our environment.
Businesses have made clear that burdensome regulations have hampered growth, which is why we are taking this action – the UK government is firmly backing business.
Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, said:
“I want us to use our Brexit freedoms to scrap unnecessary regulations that hold back firms and hamper growth. It’s clear that the regulators that enforce the rules can also sometimes be a blocker to businesses, so our review will seek to root out the bad practices with the aim of making companies’ lives easier and reducing costs for consumers.”
The principal focus of this call for evidence is to understand what works well and what could be improved in how regulators operate to deliver for the sectors they serve.
It seeks views on regulatory agility; proportionality; predictability and consistency of approach. It will also consider whether there are any further steps we can take to reform the existing stock of regulation on the UK Statute book (both Retained EU Law and wider regulations).
Regulators play a crucial role in protecting consumers rights, workers’ rights and the environment which is why no reforms will come at the expense of the UK’s already high standards.
It comes as many businesses, consumer groups and other industry leaders have expressed their concern over the operation and enforcement of regulation by independent regulators. Broadly, these criticisms fall into three categories:
The regulatory landscape is a crowded space, with too many regulators having too many duties to trade-off against each other meaning consistency across regulators and a clear direction on what good looks like is essential.
Regulator behaviour, risk appetite and overall performance is not as it should be. Businesses/industry groups argue that regulators are overly risk averse and focus too heavily on process, and that this is at the expense of delivering the best outcomes.
Regulator powers and accountability have not moved in tandem, in part because of the increased decision-making power of some regulators now that decisions are taken at a UK- (not EU-) level.
This work is complementary to existing work in train, including the more specific review of Ofgem, Ofwat and Ofcom – which also forms part of the Smarter Regulation Programme.
This is the next step in the government’s programme of Smarter Regulation and deregulation. We have already launched a series of consultations and reviews into the growth duty for larger regulators, the UK’s product safety review and fire safety for domestic appliances – these have all been aimed at improving safety, cutting business burdens and improving regulations for the economy.
Across the UK, there are 90 regulators, and 39 per cent of small businesses say red tape holds them back. Which is why this review will work to identify the changes to the regulatory landscape that will really make a difference to economic growth, as well as improving the outcomes for consumers and our environment.
The findings will help to improve regulators right across government to ensure they are more accountable, effective and responsive to the needs of the sectors they represent.