Regulatory Policy Committee Chairman comments on the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) report

The Regulatory Policy Committee ChairmanStephen Gibson, commented on the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform report, already described in a previous news on this website.

Such a report expressed as Brexit is an opportunity to reform the UK’s approach to regulation and ensuring to regulate in the most effective way possible, supporting growth and innovation.

The Regulatory Policy Committee shares the goals mentioned above, defining as its role is to deliver better regulation by ensuring a proper consideration of costs, benefits and risks of different regulatory and non-regulatory options.

The Chairman displayed as there is potential to improve regulation, minimise burdens on businesses and civil society, and consider the impact on the environment, health and safety, and economic growth. 

Concerning the “one-in, two-out” principle presented in the report, Stephen Gibson expressed as using the right metric to compare impacts is of first-rate importance. Indeed, avoiding significant policy areas to be carved out because of additional costs is a must. There is a need for a new flexible mechanism allowing additional objectives.

The Committee also expresses as impact assessments with insufficient analysis of the impacts on small businesses are not appropriate. On the matter, the RPC supports the idea of departments and regulators having to assess the disproportionate effects on small businesses by new regulations.

Concerning the recommendations of the TIGRR on having to evaluate the effects of regulations on innovation, competition, environment and trade, Chairman Gibson displayed as the Committee is already providing an informal assessment of these factors in its opinions. Notwithstanding this, the Chairman specified that the current framework does not allow to consider such issues formally. 

Stephen Gibson highlighted as the general effectiveness of the Committee is limited by the current framework in which they operate. Only the launch of a review on the Better Regulation framework could provide the opportunity to make changes to the independent scrutiny process. This, to “deliver better policy-making and ultimately better policy”. 

The Chairman, in a following note, went back over the matter by commenting on the scope of the Better Regulation Framework.

Indeed, the framework’s purpose is to provide transparency and accountability over the regulatory burdens, and the Government are required to measure the direct impacts of new regulation, but with some exempted categories.

The Committee is concerned that some exemptions are likely for the framework to miss some very significant business costs.

For example, temporary measures are excluded from the BIT. However, the Chairman displayed as such exclusion for emergency measures, together with the Covid pandemic, “means that the impact of some of the most severe and restrictive measures introduced have not been quantified or reviewed”.

Moreover, many Covid measures that should have been in force for less than 12 months have now been extended for more than a year. This, without the RPC scrutiny. The Committee understands the will to reduce the burden on civil service resources but specifies as such measures have a relevant impact on businesses and civil society organisations. 

Concluding, Stephen Gibson displayed that since the Government is considering reforming the better regulation framework, it will be necessary to “ensure that any exemptions from the framework are reasonable and kept to a minimum” while helping to minimise the burden introduced by new regulations. 








Luca Megale
is a PhD Student at LUMSA University of Rome 

and tutor of the European Master in Law and Economics - EMLE (Rome term).