UK Businesses to Drive Reform in Sector Regulation

Business Focus on Enforcement to allows industries to collect and present evidence to regulators and ministers to remove “unnecessary burdens”

Yesterday, business minister Matthew Hancock approved an appeal by businesses to review the enforcement of regulation in their sectors.

In a move that will place UK businesses in charge of certain regulation reforms, business groups will collect and present evidence to regulators and ministers; who will then decide how to address the identified issues in order to remove unnecessary burdens without compromising essential procedures.

The new measure, titled Business Focus on Enforcement, will initially run with two trade bodies, The Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Both bodies will present their findings in autumn 2014.

The FPC will collect evidence surrounding complaints of inconsistent charges and delays at ports on perishable produce imports, and reports that UK businesses are choosing to use alternative EU points of entry to get clearance as they are more efficient and affordable.

The NFU will also investigate reports of inconsistencies in regards to visits to farms by national and regional regulators. The NFU will talk to stakeholders, including farmers, to collect information regarding farmers’ experiences, processes undertaken and data requested.

Hancock commented on why he welcomed the new measurement:

“We are changing the way Whitehall works, listening directly to businesses to help them grow, create prosperity and jobs. Businesses will now have the power to lead the reform of counterproductive, time consuming or bureaucratic enforcement of regulation that can get in the way of growth.

“Putting reputable private sector experts in the driving seat will help us improve the way regulation is enforced without compromising standards. It is all part of our unambiguously pro-business agenda to increase the financial security of the British people.”

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