Brexit: Sinn Fein warns Boris to prepare for the break-up of the UK
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The Conservative MP said Britain has huge opportunities to cut bureaucracy in sectors including finance and medical research to recapture some of the economy’s dynamism. However, he accused the Government of failing to act, adding it could completely miss its chance.
Sir Iain’s Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGR) proposed about 100 measures to cut excessive red tape and develop flexible regulation for emerging industries last year.
He said: “The Government has done absolutely sweet FA about this since we delivered the report to them.
“They should have been getting on with it now and they still haven’t done a single element of deregulation since I produced the report.”
The MP for Chingford and Woodford Green warned that the Government is running out of time more than two years on from the General Election and since the UK officially left the European Union.
Sir Iain said: “If you want me to write the epitaph to this Government, it is full of wishful hope, but not of delivery.”
He claimed that inexperienced ministers are too often captured by civil servants instead of driving the agenda.
The former leader of the Conservative Party said: “There is a lot to do and they think they have a lot of time to do it in, but they don’t.
“If we don’t get this done in the next nine months, most of this stuff, it is never going to get done, because we will be into the pre-run to an election. At that stage, what are you going to show?”
Sir Iain recommended cutting the City loose from EU measures and ditching the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which aims to strengthen investor protection and improve market efficiency.
Former Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said Covid has shown that the state can be flexible when it needs to be as shown by the clinical trials for vaccines and treatments.
He told The Telegraph: “The UK has an opportunity right now to remove burdensome regulation and allow new innovative industries like fintech to flourish.
“It is absolutely vital that we do this. The economy faces significant challenges and the only long-term way out of that is through innovation and growth.”
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A Cabinet Office spokesman said the Taskforce’s report has helped shape ambitious plans to capitalise on new Brexit freedoms.
He said: “Many of the recommendations in the TIGRR report are being taken forward, in areas such as data, gene-editing, artificial intelligence and future transport technologies.
“Alongside this, we have set out new measures to ensure that the UK will become the best-regulated economy in the world.”
The Government launched its Brexit Freedoms Bill in January which aims to affect the handling of retained EU law – Brussels-made regulations which were preserved in the UK statute book for legal continuity after the transition period ended in 2020.
It previously made clear its intention to eventually amend, replace or repeal all the retained law it considers inappropriate for the UK.
Downing Street warned at the time that under current rules, changing or scrapping regulations in the pipeline of outdated legislation would take several years because of a lengthy alteration process.
It said the new Bill will ensure changes can be made more easily so the UK can capitalise on Brexit freedoms more quickly.
Jayne Adye, Director of grassroots, cross-Party campaign Get Britain Out, said: “Whether it be Financial Services reform, diverging away from EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) or any other EU legislation copied onto the UK’s statute books – the Government has known for a long time change would not only be necessary after Brexit, but would be vital to properly position the UK as an excellent place to do business in the years to come.
“Yet no meaningful action has been taken so far. Why not?
“Boris Johnson’s political future now hangs by a fragile thread. There is no doubt his remaining political capital should not be spent on net-zero, but on delivering the real Brexit which will finally get Britain out of the EU in every aspect.”
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