Lord Frost ordered to take urgent action as EU laws suffocate UK businesses post-Brexit

Brexit: Lord Frost speaks of 'disappointment' with EU

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The Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) has urged ministers to take action to reduce the burden of legislation currently imposed on businesses. It warns rules imported from Brussels risk stifling innovation in the UK.

When Britain left the EU, legislation introduced by the bloc was automatically moved over to the UK’s statute book.

It means businesses remain bound by laws agreed by Brussels unless specifically amended or repealed.

Eurosceptics have long argued the EU is too far-reaching with its legislation, introducing rules and laws for every scenario.

Known as the “precautionary principle”, the system has been accused of stifling development.

Now, the IEA has called on the Government to introduce a “British innovation principle” to help boost the UK economy’s competitiveness.

It has warned the rolling over the EU’s regulation into UK law will suffocate innovation in many sectors of the economy.

“Innovation provides the tools to conserve the environment and improve environmental and health outcomes,” the IEA said.

“In this respect, an innovation principle is not a competitor with the precautionary principle, but a necessary addition to it in achieving sustainable outcomes.

“Without reforms, the UK will import the burdens of the precautionary principle.”

The innovation principle being touted would consider whether the benefits of a new project or development are great enough to overrule any regulatory objections.

Ministers have already indicated their desire to scrap EU laws they believe are too restricting of businesses.

In January Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered Sir Iain Duncan Smith to lead the Taskforce for Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) to evaluate how to make the most of having taken back control of laws.

Reporting back in June, the group urged the UK to return to the common law used by Britain before entering the EU.

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The regulatory system sees rules only introduced as and when obvious problems arise, rather than adding unnecessary extra laws in case of potential problems.

After the findings were assessed by Lord Frost, the Brexit minister last week confirmed plans to remove EU laws.

“We’re going to conduct a review of so-called ‘retained EU law’, and by this I mean the very many pieces of legislation which we took onto our own statute book through the European Union Withdrawal Act of 2018,” he said.

Lord Frost said the plans would allow UK courts to break away from precedents set by EU case law when Britain was a member of the bloc.

“In so doing, we shall continue and finalise the process of restoring this sovereign parliament and our courts to their proper constitutional positions,” the minister added.

He went on to say: “I want to be clear, eventually, our intention is to amend, to replace, or repeal, all that retained EU law that is not right for the UK.”

Lord Frost also said there would be “rigorous tests” put in place to ensure future regulation is necessary before it is introduced.

It is hoped the extra measures will avoid unnecessary burdensome rules being imposed on businesses.

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