IEA: Queen’s speech lacks ambition in the face of Britain’s immense challenges

Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, Matthew Lesh, Head of Public Policy at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:“The Queen’s Speech lacks ambition in the face of Britain’s immense challenges.“Despite all the talk about embracing Brexit opportunities, for instance, the government is steaming ahead with legislation like the Online Safety Bill and the Digital Markets Unit that will undermine free speech and discourage the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.”

Commenting on the Brexit Freedoms Bill, IEA Head of Regulatory Affairs Victoria Hewson said:“The Brexit Freedoms Bill will remove the effective supremacy of retained EU laws that now form part of domestic law. This is a necessary step towards reforming our regulatory environment, and it is encouraging that this was expressed in terms of repealing and reforming regulations.

“We must stay vigilant to ensure that executive powers are not abused or used to add to, rather than reduce, regulatory burdens.”Commenting on plans for an independent football regulator, Victoria Hewson said:“It is ironic that in the same legislative programme that seeks to repeal and reform regulation and support innovation, the government is also introducing a new regulator in English football – one of Britain’s most successful and innovative sectors.“This regulation is unnecessary and likely to have negative unintended consequences. It is to be hoped that the government will carry out a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, so far absent from the proposals, before proceeding with legislation.”Commenting on planned reforms to data protection, Victoria Hewson said:“Reforms to our data protection laws will be welcome. Research published just this week has shown the negative effects the GDPR has had on innovation in Europe.“The changes will need to be ambitious and meaningful. It is possible that the EU could withdraw recognition of the adequacy or our laws in response – so businesses and civil society organisations need to see real benefits for this to be worthwhile.”Commenting on proposed reforms to planning, Dr Kristian Niemietz, IEA Head of Political Economy, said:“The fact that the references to ‘planning reform’ concerned themselves solely with relatively minor and trivial issues confirms what we already knew: this government has given up on any serious attempts to make housing in Britain more affordable. They have, once again, unconditionally surrendered to the NIMBYs.“The original reform plans, outlined in the 2020 government White Paper ‘Planning for the future’, were about making the planning system more rules-based and less discretionary, thereby reducing the excessive political power of anti-development obstructionists and troublemakers. By U-turning on those plans, the government has made clear that this is a government for the NIMBYs, by the NIMBYs.“Britain’s housing crisis is at the very heart of the cost-of-living crisis. Without solving the former, there is no hope of making any progress on the latter.”


Notes to editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715941731, [email protected]

IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.

Further IEA reading:

Red Card: Why English football doesn’t need an independent regulator, by Victoria Hewson and Professor Len Shackleton

In harm’s way: Why online safety regulation needs an Independent Reviewer, by Matthew Lesh and Mikołaj Barczentewic

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