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Red Tape Challenge

Volume 594: debated on Wednesday 25 March 2015

As part of the Government’s red tape challenge initiative, DEFRA will complete this Parliament an ambitious programme of reform to improve and simplify its regulation. These reforms will reduce regulatory costs to business by around £300 million per year, thus helping to promote growth, while maintaining our high standards of environmental, animal and plant health protection.

In total, 650 legislative reforms will have been made which will reduce the number of regulations in force by more than 20% compared to May 2010. I am today placing a full list of these legislative reforms in the Libraries of both Houses.

Reforming the amount of guidance that accumulated over many years has also been an important priority. In May, DEFRA and its regulator network will have reduced their guidance by more than 70,000 pages, which is a reduction of over 80%. I am placing in the Libraries of both Houses the current impact assessment to support this reform.

All DEFRA’s legislation in force is now accessible to the public via DEFRALex, an online portal on This is designed to make legislation more accessible and easier to locate by businesses and the public.