Insights Government publishes policy paper on “Smarter regulation to grow the economy”, including a review of Ofcom’s duties

The Government has published the first in a series of deregulation announcements expected this year following Brexit, aimed at reducing burdens on business, pushing down the cost of living and driving economic growth.

The Government says that it does “not consider regulation to be a dirty word”, but states that it “must be used only where necessary and be implemented in a way that provides the right foundations for our economy to thrive”.

The policy paper is divided into three parts:

  1. the first part sets out how the Government is reforming the Better Regulation Framework so that it better considers non-regulatory approaches in the first instance and provides earlier and more rigorous scrutiny of regulatory proposals;
  2. the second part sets out the Government’s agenda to ensure that regulators, such as Ofcom, drive economic growth; it also sets out plans to consult on refreshed guidance on how regulators deliver their growth duties and the best routes to drive growth; the Government will also consult on steers for the Competition and Markets Authority; and
  3. the third part sets out the Government’s commitment to reforming the existing stock of regulation.

The third part includes the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) (REUL) Bill, currently going through Parliament, which provides powers to amend, remove and replace “unsuitable” retained EU law with bespoke UK provisions. The Government says that it will be amending the REUL Bill “to be clear which laws we intend to revoke at the end of this year” (see item below). This is, the Government says, to provide certainty to business. To read the Government’s press release in full, click here. To read the policy paper in full, click here.