Think Tanks Call on Government to Properly Exploit Brexit Opportunities

Aside from partygate yesterday, the government celebrated the two year anniversary of Brexit, publishing a 100-page document of the victories so far and plans for future Brexit-enables successes. According to Steve Barclay and the Cabinet Office, the government’s achieved 76 policy changes so far that wouldn’t have been possible within the EU. Most are sound and should be shouted about, some were rather tenuous…

Wonks were quick to share their two cents on the paper and the government’s stated plans to use Brexit to improve the country’s regulations and legislation.

The CPS welcomed the white paper, particularly supporting the intention to make Britain the best regulated economy in the world; as well as ensuring regulators take into consideration competition, growth and innovation when assessing the impact of decisions; simplifying burdens for SMEs; and the freeports agenda. They did, however, criticise the abandoning of a ‘one in, two out’ pledge on new regulations…

“Fixing our regulatory system is one of the great opportunities of Brexit. But that needs to apply to all regulations, not just those inherited from Brussels.

The £1 billion target for cutting post-Brexit regulation is headline-grabbing but relatively unambitious. We need more detail on what will replace the current system of regulatory budgeting and business impact targets, which are due to expire. It is especially concerning to note that a one-in-two-out system was considered but rejected – apparently because it will be too difficult to implement alongside Net Zero.”

The IEA were more critical, saying 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.”

“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”.”

UK In A Changing Europe’s Anand Menon accused the document of “missing the trade-offs”, and it appeared the report had been published “because of where the Prime Minister is”. Guido presumed it was more to do with the two year anniversary of Brexit…

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Leavers United, Remainers Divided

Leave MPs are united on what they want from Brexit while Remainers are hopelessly divided and cannot agree a line. Not just the conclusion of anyone who watched yesterday’s Commons debate, this is the finding of a new survey by Queen Mary University. While there is a near consensus among Leavers on the importance of controlling immigration, Remainers are split on whether to prioritise the single market (47%) or border controls (31%). On paying into the EU budget, again there is a near consensus against among Leavers, while Remainers are divided. As Professor Anand Menon says: “Remainers are much more divided over what to prioritise – which may well make them less able to shape the debate”. A brief look at the varying positions of Anna Soubry, Chuka Umunna, Owen Smith, Ed Miliband, Jeremy Corbyn and the two LibDem factions tells you much the same.

Another titbit in Philip Cowley’s survey: 70% of Labour MPs say they are now less supportive of referenda:

That’s democracy for ya…

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