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Government launches plans to capitalise on new Brexit freedoms

LEP Business Sep 16, 2021

New plans to capitalise on freedoms from Brexit announced

  • EU laws kept on the statute book after Brexit will be improved or repealed if they do not benefit UK citizens and businesses.
  • Individual regulatory reforms will improve digitisation and unleash innovation.
  • Announcement builds on recommendations from the Taskforce for Regulatory Reform, Innovation and Growth (TIGRR) led by Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

New plans to capitalise on the freedoms from Brexit so that our rules and regulations best serve the UK national interest have been announced today by Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost.

Thousands of individual EU regulations automatically kept on the statute book after Brexit – known as Retained EU Law – will be scrutinised by the Government to ensure they are helping the UK to thrive as a modern, dynamic, independent country and foster innovation across the British economy. The review will aim to remove the ‘special status’ that EU retained law still enjoys in our legal framework and will determine how best to ensure that UK courts can no longer give undue precedence to EU-derived laws in future. This will be done while providing businesses and citizens with legal certainty and will continue the process of restoring the UK Parliament to its proper constitutional position.

Additionally, the Government is setting out a package of individual regulatory reforms to laws inherited while a member of the EU, building on recommendations recently submitted to Government by the Taskforce for Regulatory Reform, Innovation and Growth.

In the coming weeks, Secretaries of State across Whitehall will set out bold strategies and proposals for keeping the UK at the forefront of innovation and technology, including on:

  • Artificial Intelligence to supercharge its place in the UK economy, to grow investment, support research and development, and boost the nation’s skills – setting the standards for other countries to follow.
  • Transport to unleash the UK’s potential as a world leader in future technologies like autonomous maritime vessels, self-driving cars and drones by modernising outdated EU vehicle standards.
  • Farming to reform the regulations around gene-edited organisms, which will enable more sustainable and efficient farming and help produce healthier and more nutritious food.

This follows the proposed reforms to create a pro-growth, trusted data rights regime, which is more proportionate and less burdensome than the EU’s GDPR rules.

The Government also plans to establish a new Commission through which the public will be able to identify additional opportunities for cutting or reforming red tape and bureaucracy. Any individual will be able to submit proposals. The Commission will then consider these ideas and make recommendations for change to the Government - but only if they go in the direction of reducing or eliminating regulation.

Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost, said:

From rules on data storage to the ability of businesses to develop new green technologies, overbearing regulations were often conceived and agreed in Brussels with little consideration of the UK national interest.

We now have the opportunity to do things differently and ensure that Brexit freedoms are used to help businesses and citizens get on and succeed.

Today’s announcement is just the beginning. The Government will go further and faster to create a competitive, high-standards regulatory environment which supports innovation and growth across the UK as we build back better from the pandemic

Further reforms announced today include:

Modernising our economy:

  • Introducing digital driving licenses, test certificates and MOT processes to streamline the process for motorists.
  • Creating digital certificates for millions of shareholdings to replace their paper counterparts, making life easier for people who own and trade shares.
  • Legislating to put electronic trade documents on the same legal footing as paper documents, removing the need for wasteful paperwork and needless bureaucracy.

Supporting research and development:

  • Overhauling our clinical trial frameworks to improve trial set up and patient recruitment, giving a major boost to the UK’s world-class R&D sector and getting patients access to new lifesaving medicines more quickly.
  • Reforming medical devices regulations to foster the development of new and emerging devices, harnessing cutting edge technology, software and AI. This will ensure access to the world’s most innovative technologies for NHS patients while maintaining quality and safety.

Reducing bureaucratic interference:

  • Permitting the voluntary printing of the Crown Stamp on pint glasses and reviewing the EU ban on markings and sales in imperial units and legislating in due course, none of which were possible within the EU.
  • Today’s announcement follows the government’s ongoing consultation into reforming the UK’s regulatory framework, which will respond to other recommendations from the Taskforce for Regulatory Reform, Innovation and Growth.

A full list of individual regulatory reforms announced can be found here.

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