Brexit: Retained EU law deadline must be extended to avoid ‘rushed bonfire’ of regulations, think tank warns
The post Brexit retained EU law deadline should be extended to avoid a “rushed bonfire” of business regulations, a think tank has warned.
Government risks missing a “golden opportunity” to boost the quality of the statute books if it does not lengthen the December 2023 deadline for the so-called sunset clause.
Most Brussels legislation will be ditched at year-end under the Retained EU Law Bill unless reviewed ahead of time, but the Social Market Foundation (SMF) has criticised the plans.
Titled ‘Reducing the burden of government regulation’, the report says there is not enough time to fully consider the 4,000 pieces of legislation otherwise headed for the scrapheap.
It states: “Political motivation to ‘get Brexit done’ is driving particularly zealous attempts to cut regulation.
“It is likely that instead of a golden opportunity to properly review the effectiveness of a large batch of existing legislation, regulations are cut without properly thinking through their value.
Report co-author Stephen Gibson said: “Of the different approaches the government has adopted to try to reduce the burden of regulations on business, the current one where they set themselves a burden-reduction target and then fail to hit it is clearly the least successful.”
The SMF described the potential scrapping of chunks of the UK’s regulatory framework as a “rushed bonfire” and urged the government to extend the December deadline.
Gibson, who is chairman of the Regulatory Policy Committee – an independent body that advises ministers and parliament on minimising regulatory burdens – advised government to focus on the small number of regulations that generate most of the regulatory burdens.
John Penrose MP, who wrote the report’s foreword, added: “I’m sure [the prime minister] will be horrified at Britain’s recent track record of larding on extra red tape costs, and will want to forge a new, cheaper, nimbler, less bureaucratic and far more competitive regime instead.”