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Written Statements

Volume 601: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2015

Written Statements

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

Coal 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

Environment Agency

Financial Conduct Authority

Financial Reporting Council

Food Standards Agency

Forestry Commission

Gambling Commission

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

Information Commissioner

Marine Management Organisation

Natural England

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

Pensions 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

Insolvency Service

Intellectual Property Office

Land Registry

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.