Government risks “cancelling out any benefits” of repealing EU law, warns regulatory expert

Commenting on the government’s policy document, ‘Benefits of Brexit: how the UK is taking advantage of leaving the EU’, published today, Victoria Hewson, Head of Regulatory Affairs at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The government is talking a good talk on cutting red tape yet failing to walk the walk. The Prime Minister is making the right noises about tackling the regulatory burden all the while introducing laws and regulations that go in the opposite direction.

“A systematic exercise to review and streamline the repeal of retained EU law is welcome. But much of the paper is devoted to extolling new, homemade regulation which risks cancelling out any benefits from diverging from EU rules.

“Brexit was meant to provide us with greater freedom not even more burdensome rules derived from Whitehall rather than Brussels. From online safety to Net Zero, it’s hard to see how the government is sticking to its own principle of regulating only when “absolutely necessary”.

“A “more holistic and efficient approach” to scrutinising the costs of regulation is welcome, but more clarity is needed on the new metrics for impact assessments. Business impact targets and one-in, one-out are flawed but preferable to subjective, qualitative measurements for restraining the production of red tape.”


Notes to editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715 942 731

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.