Tuesday 27 October 2015
Business, Innovation and Skills
Enterprise Bill: Business Impact Target
My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) has today made the following statement.
The Enterprise Bill was introduced in this House on 16 September. It is a Bill that brings forward measures to support businesses to set up and grow. One of those measures extends the business impact target (BIT) to include the activities of statutory regulators. We will require those regulators to assess and report on the impact of their regulatory activities on business. It is intended that this measure will help contribute to this Government’s commitment to reduce the regulatory burden on business by £10 billion over the life of this Parliament.
The Enterprise Bill will extend the BIT brought in by the Small Business Enterprise and Employment 2015 Act. This will ensure that statutory and non-statutory national regulators—undertaking regulatory activity that has an impact on business relating to matters reserved to UK Ministers—operate within a system where there is transparent reporting of the costs to business of their regulatory activities underpinned by statute.
The Bill itself does not specify which regulators are being brought into scope of the BIT; that will be set out in secondary legislation following a public consultation in early 2016. The Government are carefully considering the position of each regulator, and final decisions have yet to be made. However to assist the House in considering the clauses before it I am providing an indicative list of the bodies that are currently being considered for inclusion. This list is not definitive and the views of business, regulators and other respondents to the consultation will inform the legislation to be submitted to the House in 2016.
Regulators in scope of business impact target
Statutory (under consideration to be brought into scope under Enterprise Bill)
Architects Registration Board
Assay Offices (Sheffield, Birmingham, London, Edinburgh)
British Hallmarking Council
Care Quality Commission
Charity Commission for England and Wales
Civil Aviation Authority
Commissioners of Irish Lights (in relation to their regulatory activity in Northern Ireland)
Registrar of Companies (England and Wales), Registrar of Companies (Scotland)
Competition and Markets Authority
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Financial Conduct Authority
Financial Reporting Council
Food Standards Agency
Gangmasters Licensing Authority
Groceries Code Adjudicator
Health and Safety Executive
Higher Education Funding Council for England
Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (Historic England)
Homes and Communities Agency
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority
Human Tissue Authority
Marine Management Organisation
Northern Lighthouse Board
Oil and Gas Authority
Office of Communications
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
Office for Fair Access
Office for Nuclear Regulation
Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills
Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
Office of Rail and Road
Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies
Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
Payment Systems Regulator
Security Industry Authority
Sports Grounds Safety Authority
Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain
Trinity House Lighthouse Services
Water Services Regulation Authority
Regulators for further discussion (may be brought into scope under Enterprise Bill)
Professional bodies listed in schedule 3 to the Money Laundering Regulations 2007
Bodies regulated by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care
Farriers Registration Council
Non-statutory (for information only, already in scope under SBEE Act 2015)
Animal and Plant Health Agency
Animals in Science Regulation Unit
Claims Management Regulation Unit
Drinking Water Inspectorate
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate
Fish Health Inspectorate, CEFAS
Intellectual Property Office
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
National Measurement and Regulation Office
Rural Payments Agency
Vehicle Certification Agency
Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Military Support to Afghanistan
In January 2015 following 13 years of combat operations, NATO started its new non-combat train, advise and assist mission in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF), which the UK and our NATO partners have played a key role in developing, assumed the lead for security in their country.
In their first fighting season since the drawdown of international combat troops, the ANDSF have been tested in parts of the country, but they have also shown themselves to be an increasingly professional, competent and dedicated fighting force.
The UK Government recognised it would take time for the ANDSF to develop into a fully fledged fighting force capable of providing complete security for the people of Afghanistan. We therefore made plans to review our commitment in light of its performance over the year and the overall security situation.
I would like to inform the House that we have now concluded that we should maintain the scale of the UK’s current military mission in the country in 2016, to help build a secure and stable Afghanistan.
The scope and role of the UK mission are unchanged. We will continue to help develop Afghanistan’s future military leaders through our work at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy, to build capacity within the Afghan security ministries, and to provide vital support to NATO operations in Kabul. Around 450 UK personnel will work in close co-ordination with our NATO allies and partners in the delivery of these important tasks.
This decision follows President Obama’s announcement on 15 October that the United States is delaying the drawdown of US troops and will maintain its current force level in Afghanistan through most of next year. Both the US and our own decisions underline NATO’s continued commitment to training and assisting Afghan forces as they grow stronger.
Finally, I wish to record my immense gratitude and admiration for all of our brave men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in Afghanistan. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by each and every one of the 456 members of the armed forces who have died during operations in Afghanistan. Their sacrifice has helped to protect our country and our citizens from the threat of terrorism, as well as giving the people of Afghanistan the chance of a better future.