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Business Regulation

Volume 516: debated on Thursday 14 October 2010

14. If he will take steps to ensure that his Department’s one-in, one-out plan for business regulation will include new business regulations originating at EU level. (17269)

This Government are determined to reverse the rise in regulation that is constricting enterprise and stifling growth. We have introduced the one-in, one-out system of regulatory control for domestic regulation, to bring about a fundamental change in the way that regulations are drawn up, introduced and implemented.

We will also take a rigorous approach to tackling EU regulations. The Government will engage earlier in the Brussels policy process; take strong cross-government negotiating lines; and work to end the so-called “gold-plating” of EU regulations, so that when European rules are implemented into UK law, it is done without putting British businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

May I urge the Minister to include EU regulations in the one-in, one-out system, as I understand that compliance with EU regulations costs this country some 3% of its annual gross domestic product?

May I reassure my hon. Friend that once the system is embedded with respect to domestic regulation affecting businesses and the third sector, the Government plan to extend it to other areas, including EU law?

I note that the Minister did not address the question asked by the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr Hollobone). Is he not willing to tell Parliament the truth that in fact business regulations are part of the common market, which means that they cannot be vetoed by the Government? What is required is for the Government to stop the gold-plating that is done by the civil service when regulations come from Europe.

The hon. Gentleman did not listen to either my first answer or my second answer. The Government are committed to ending gold-plating and I have said from this Dispatch Box that, once the one-in, one-out system is embedded, we will apply it to EU legislation.