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The Smarter Regulation programme

Before we left the European Union, we had little control over the regulations we took on and minimal ability to diverge from the EU in how we regulate emerging sectors. We were unable to reform regulations and tailor them to the needs of the UK economy.  

After the Government passed the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023, the UK Parliament reclaimed the sovereignty that enables the UK to determine its own regulatory future. From amending inherited EU regulations and removing red tape, to how we decide to regulate going forwards.  

We are now prioritising a more agile, home-grown regulatory approach that benefits the UK – our goal is to become the best regulated economy in the world and that’s where the Smarter Regulation programme comes in.  

We have established a new framework of how we amend existing UK regulation, not just those inherited from the EU, and create new regulations for existing and emerging industries to boost the UK’s economy.  Our 

Smarter Regulation Programme is stripping away unnecessary and outdated regulations that have built up over the years to unlock our potential and drive innovation and growth. It will ensure that regulation is a last resort, not a first choice.  

Going forward the Government will deploy alternatives to regulation wherever beneficial and ensure that our regulators provide a world-class service to UK businesses and consumers. This approach will allow us to ensure that we maintain our high standards, while adapting to adapt to the new technologies and challenges that the future brings. We are also working closely with independent regulators to ensure that they perform as well as they can – and share our commitment to innovation and growth.  

The Smarter Regulation programme is comprised of three pillars:

  1. Minimising regulatory burden and future-proofing regulations. We are reforming the existing stock of regulation to cut regulatory burdens and future-proof our approach. This spans both reforms to assimilated Retained EU Law (REUL) using the powers in the Retained EU Law Act, as well as wider domestic regulations. Regulations that are not needed will be removed, while those that are needed must be proportionate, contemporary and forward-looking.  
  2. Making regulation a last resort, not a first choice. This means putting downward pressure on the flow of new regulation, with alternatives deployed wherever possible.  
  3. Ensuring a well-functioning landscape of regulators. Regulators have a significant footprint on the economy, and as such it is essential that regulators work well for the UK. They should operate in an agile and outcome-driven fashion and help drive economic growth – while protecting consumers and ensuring that markets work as well as they can.  

The Smarter Regulation programme seeks to ensure that the right conditions are in place across all industries so that they can develop and grow. The productivity of British businesses is the fundamental driver of our economic performance, and in turn the prosperity of each household. We know that when we tie businesses up in red tape, we limit their ability to innovate and hamper our national growth prospects.   

By making it easier to remove unsuitable regulations across various sectors of the economy, entrepreneurial businesses now have more opportunity to innovate, experiment, and capitalise on the UK’s global leadership in areas like clean energy technologies, life sciences, and digital services.