Announcing the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the prime minister declared that “we have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation”. Regaining regulatory autonomy was a key UK objective in the negotiations. The question now is what the government wants to do with it.
There is no shortage of ideas about how the government could regulate differently outside the EU. The taskforce set up by the prime minister to identify post-Brexit opportunities has made much of the ability to change regulation to better reflect the needs of the UK economy and promote innovation, and recommended reform in areas like financial services and life sciences. The government is now launching a search to find a director for its Brexit Opportunities Unit to "develop a cross-government strategy for regulatory change, while driving policy development on new opportunities across Whitehall."
As our recent report, Taking back control of regulation, shows, doing things differently from the EU presents opportunities, but also brings potential costs and risks.
To discuss how the government should think about regulation after Brexit, we brought together a panel representing a range of views:
Bernardine Adkins, Partner, Head of EU, Trade and Competition at Gowling WLG
John Foster, Interim Director of Policy and Communications at the Confederation of British Industry
Joe Marshall, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Government
Iain Martin, Columnist for The Times
The event was chaired by Jill Rutter, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government.