Government pledges to 'cut £1bn of red tape' with post-Brexit rules shake-up

Government pledges to 'cut £1bn of red tape' with post-Brexit rules shake-up
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Mon 31st Jan 2022

Prime minister minister Boris Johnson has announced the introduction of a "Brexit Freedoms" Bill which will make it easier to amend or remove European Union laws still in force in the UK.

Unveiled on the second anniversary of Britain officially leaving the EU, Downing Street says the move will slash £1bn of red tape for businesses and improve regulation.

Following the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, many EU laws remained on the UK statute book as a bridging measure. The government said that current rules mean reforming and repealing "outdated" EU laws that are "not beneficial to the UK" would take several years, but the new Bill will make it easier and quicker.

"There are things we can do differently and we think in a way that will encourage business to invest even more,” Johnson said in an pooled interview with broadcasters.

"In all the areas where the UK is strong – cyber, artificial intelligence, all the cutting-edge technologies of the future – we are going to make sure we do things differently and better, where appropriate.

"We won't diverge for the sake of it but we are going to make sure this the number one place to do business and invest because of the freedoms that we have."

What are the benefits of Brexit?

The government has not yet named the exact laws it intends to change, but in a new policy document, The Benefits of Brexit: how the UK is taking advantage of leaving the EU, it says examples of actions Britain has taken as a result of Brexit include moves to simplify alcohol duties announced in last autumn's Budget and removing 5% VAT on sanitary products which is mandated by the EU.

The impact of Brexit on UK businesses

Today's announcement comes amid continuing reports that businesses trading with the EU are struggling to deal with new red tape as a result of Brexit. There are long queues of lorries at Dover which firms say is due to the new requirement to submit full customs declarations before goods can be transported to the EU.

The government however has said another reason is to blame.

Transport Minister Baroness Vere told the Transport Select Committee: "[The queues] are actually due to the fact that there are three ships being refitted at the moment. That is why Dover TAP is currently on. Our view is that the delay in Dover is not due to border checks."

The Dover TAP is a temporary system aimed at preventing a build up of lorry traffic.

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Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation including hosting the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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