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Red (tape) scare January 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

As always I know opinions are divided on Richard North – I can’t help but think that he’s done some service the past number of years. But this is excellent in my view. He discusses the manner in which UK agencies, the Vehicle Registration Authority, the CAA, have become de facto regulators with international legitimacy. And how this ends with Brexit and with that income streams and employment. And he notes that:

Of course, for the hard Brexiteers, this is all “red tape” from which British industry will be “liberated” once we leave the EU. But that is fundamentally to misunderstand the nature of such regulation. Without the reassurance if independent regulatory certification, markets contract, not only at a European level but also worldwide, in countries which also use EU certification as the basis for their own market access.

I recall once working for a UK company marketing a novel disinfectant product in the days before there was any UK or EU regulatory approval system. In order to gain access to its own domestic market – and lucrative NHS contracts – it became necessary for the company to submit its product voluntarily to US FDA approval. Post-Brexit, without the cover of the European system, many British companies will have to resort to similar stratagems, especially if they seek to market their products internationally.

To that extent, regulation is not a burden. It is an enabler. Yet the way we are handling Brexit, with the prospect of a no-deal, is potentially going to crash a huge spanner in the works. The minimal savings from reduced EU “red tape” will be absorbed in duplicating regulatory systems at a domestic level, while we then have to seek separate international approvals at additional cost.

That’s a fine phrase – regulation is not a burden, it is an enabler.

That’s one I’ll use again.


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