Removing the barriers to enterprise

Submission to the government's Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform
Submission to the government’s Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform

The prime minister established a Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (‘TIGRR’) in February 2021. Led by MPs Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers and George Freeman, its remit was to ‘to scope out and propose options for how the UK can take advantage of our newfound regulatory freedoms to deliver these aims, as well as challenging the Government’s own emerging proposals’.

The TIGGR received submissions from, or met, with more than 150 organisations and individuals. The IEA is publishing three of those contributions in this collection: the IEA’s own submission, drafted by Victoria Hewson, Head of Regulatory Affairs, and those of Sir Mark Boleat and Jon Moynihan OBE, two distinguished commentators who gave their personal view.

The TIGGR published its report and recommendations on 16 June 2021. Its findings are wide-ranging and ambitious, and reflect some of the recommendations made by our authors. We are publishing this collection to inform the discussion about the TIGRR report and regulatory reform in general. The report and the three submissions illustrate the scale of the challenge to achieve the prime minister’s objectives of driving innovation, reducing barriers to entry and improving the regulatory environment for small businesses. They also show that there are myriad opportunities to make progress towards them.

Sir Mark reflects on the structural reasons for the present regulatory burden, the need to address regulator accountability and the tendency of incumbent business, far from seeking deregulation, to favour ever greater regulation as a barrier to entry for potential competitors.

Jon Moynihan reflects on the differences between common and civil law traditions, and the UK’s regulatory culture and incentives. He puts forward some key areas such as health care and financial services, where reforms could transform innovation and competitiveness.

Victoria Hewson puts forward three examples of current regulations that could be reformed, one concerning industrial goods, one concerning digital services and one concerning employment law, and considered the benefits and trade offs that might result.

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