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EU Law

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what progress has been made on the implementation of the recommendations of the Davidson review on implementation of EU legislation. (204152)

All the Davidson review recommendations have either been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.

Insurance mediation directive

In July 2007, legislation came into force to remove the insurance activities of freight forwarders and storage firms from the scope of Financial Services Authority insurance regulation, where the insurance activity relates to a commercial customer. HM Treasury will reconsider the case for extending the exemption to cover retail customers once codes of practice of sufficient standard are in place.

The Financial Services Authority has made progress in addressing those recommendations on the insurance mediation directive for which it is responsible by publishing new, simplified insurance conduct of business rules in December 2007 that replaced a number of detailed prescriptive rules with greater reliance on principles; completing a review of the retail mediated activity return (RMAR) which will result in a 30 per cent. net reduction in the number of data elements required from end 2008; and publishing a consultation paper in March 2008 to seek views on proposals to reform the Client Assets Sourcebook with the intention to simplify the structure following the implementation of the markets in financial instruments directive.

MOT testing

The Department for Transport intends to issue a consultation document in the near future.

Animal scientific procedures

The Home Office has committed to reduce the administrative burdens arising from the regulation of animal experiments by at least 25 per cent. by 2010. So far, a standard wordings list has been posted on its website for use by personal licence applicants and licensees; fast-track personal licence processes have been put in place; and a revised web-based Certificate of Designation form has been posted.

Close links

The Financial Services Authority published a consultation paper on the close links requirements in December 2005

(http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/cp/cp07_21.pdf)

to examine whether there are opportunities for reducing the burdens on firms. HM Treasury is currently reviewing the application of the threshold conditions to firms not covered by the directive.

Consumer sales directive

BERR has asked the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission to review the current legislation, with a view to recommending simplification and rationalisation where possible to make the law easier for all users to understand and use.

Fisheries

The draft Marine Bill was published on 3 April 2008. Consultation on it and the impact assessment closes on 26 June 2008.

Waste and other regulatory regimes

DEFRA and CLG have consulted on improving the interface between the planning and environmental permitting systems. Consultants are now developing a protocol involving the main regulators to deliver a more effective interface when carrying out their respective roles.

Formal consultation on a revised suite of exemptions from environmental permitting is proposed for July 2008, to come into force in October 2009.

The Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007, which came into force on 6 April 2008, replace over 40 statutory instruments with a single set. This is expected to result in a reduction of administrative burden of £72.3 million over 10 years.

An informal consultation on a review of inert waste legislation covering the issues raised by the Davidson review closed on 21 March 2008. A summary of the responses and proposals for further action will be available by summer 2008.

Waste framework directive

The Commission guidance on by-products was published in February 2007. Due to the pace of negotiations on the proposed revisions to the EU waste framework directive, DEFRA has not yet published for consultation its draft updated guidance on waste, including the definition of waste, but intends to do so shortly.

Food hygiene training for food handlers

The Food Standards Agency has implemented this recommendation in full.

Road haulage operator licensing

The Department is currently taking part in negotiations on a proposed new EU regulation on access to the occupation of road transport operator—which would replace the existing EC directive that sets European rules on operator licensing. The financial standing requirements form part of those discussions.

For further details on all this, please see departmental simplification plans which can be found at:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/bre/policy/simplifying-existing-regulation/simplification-plans/2007/page44068.html

Best practice recommendations

The Davidson review recommendations on how the Government could improve their approach to handling European legislation in general have mostly been incorporated into a revised version of The Transposition Guide—guidance for officials on negotiating and implementing EU law effectively—which was published in September 2007:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file44371.pdf

The Statute Law Database went live in December 2006. It contains secondary legislation made since 1 January 1991. There are no plans to consolidate the secondary legislation until the consolidation of primary legislation is complete.