Put regulatory changes on hold while uncertainty lasts

David Severn

With regards to the future negotiations over Brexit (FA, 30 June), I think two separate issues are being confused.

If the UK seeks a post-Brexit model which is based on membership of the European Economic Community (EEC), then the UK regulatory regime will have to be equivalent, and it will be as if the UK is still a Member State. But there are serious issues with the EEA model – freedom of movement, budget contributions, and sovereignty. Also, the EU and Member States may not want to offer EEA status, even if that is what the UK wants.

So it is quite possible other post-Brexit models may apply, and it is less clear whether all of those alternatives would demand equivalence in the UK regulatory regime. That then leads to the second issue, which is whether a UK regulatory regime which did not need to be equivalent would in practice be any different?

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This is where politics comes in. If the new prime minister adopts significantly deregulatory policies, it is likely HM Treasury and regulators will adopt a different stance on the current rules. There are so many uncertainties at present that I think both the UK and EU need to put on hold as much regulatory change as they can, in order to avoid nugatory work by firms.

David Severn

David Severn Consulting,