Brexit  

Chancellor announces 'Brexit red tape challenge'

Chancellor announces 'Brexit red tape challenge'

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a Brexit ‘red tape challenge’ in an effort to “liberate businesses” from an “overbearing bureaucracy”.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference today (September 30), Sajid Javid said Britain leaving the EU gave the country the opportunity to get rid of “inefficient EU programmes” and replace them with “genuinely better homegrown alternatives”.

He announced the launch of a Brexit ‘red tape challenge’ to identify EU regulation the government could “improve or remove”.

Mr Javid added: “From retail to greentech, we can design smarter, more flexible regulation.

“Liberating our entrepreneurs, small businesses and consumers from overbearing bureaucracy — doing what a good pro-business government always does.”

But previously, the regulator and prior City ministers have told advisers and the financial services community Brexit would not lead to a “bonfire of regulation”.

In 2016 the Financial Conduct Authority boss Andrew Bailey said: “This [Brexit] is not going to lead to a bonfire of regulation, what will come out critically depends on the agreement government reaches.”

Stephen Barclay, then City minister, also portrayed this message, arguing there wouldn’t be significant changes whether a deal was reached with the European Union or not and telling the financial sector not to expect “heavy deregulation” after Brexit.

Just last year PIMFA’s chief executive said advisers should not expect rules to be diluted after Britain leaves the EU and stressed the trade body was already engaging with groups based in the EU so it can continue to wield influence after Brexit.

Today Mr Javid also said he had ordered the Treasury to prepare a comprehensive economic response to support the economy in the event of no-deal and was ready to “draw on the full armor of economic policy” if it was needed.

Other announcements included a £13.4bn boost to public services — including schools, the NHS, police officers and social care — alongside a £29bn pot for infrastructure.

Mr Javid also said the government would release a white paper on further devolution throughout the country, increase housing supply and up the national living wage to £10.50 per hour.

He said: “It’s clear it’s the Conservatives who are the real party of Labour. Delivering Brexit, boosting public services, levelling up across the nation and across generations.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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