Reducing the burden of government regulation

Think tank: Social Market Foundation

Author(s): Stephen Gibson; Will Henshall; Tasila Banda

March 9, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation reviews the effectiveness of previous efforts to reduce government red tape.

This report published by Social Market Foundation think-tank reviews the effectiveness of previous efforts to reduce government red tape – and his authored by Regulatory Policy Committee Chair, Stephen Gibson and associates. Government regulations can impose significant costs on businesses that are then passed onto consumers in higher prices. They can make UK businesses less competitive in foreign markets and against foreign competitors in domestic markets, and they can prevent innovation and reinforce barriers to entry. In this paper, Harvard Senior Fellow and RPC Chair Stephen Gibson, reviews the effectiveness of previous efforts to reduce red tape. The lessons learnt are important for improving the UK’s Better Regulation Framework and for dealing with retained EU laws – Gibson warns that the Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill, currently passing through parliament, risks missing a “golden opportunity” to improve business regulation. The Retained EU Law Bill will sunset all retained EU legislation that hasn’t been reviewed or retained by December 2023 – this does not provide sufficient time to properly assess the roughly 4,000 pieces of law involved. Instead, Gibson and his co-authors call for the December 2023 deadline to be extended, and for a properly resourced and managed programme to assess inherited EU regulations – so as to not miss a ‘golden opportunity’ to reduce regulatory burdens and improve the regulations.