Sunday, November 14, 2004

Ah so! Renegotiation

According to the Sunday Telegraph - and doubtless other papers - John Redwood, the shadow secretary of state for deregulation, has laboured long and hard on his task, and has come up with "annual quotas" for the amount of business regulation that government departments can introduce. Any regulations that cost more than the department's budget will be blocked.

However, there is a slight snag. At least half of all new business regulations are imposed by the EU, which member states have to implement. Thus, Redwood's regulation quotas are likely to be used up implement EU law, leaving nothing for legislation proposed by British politicians. And then, of course, there is the question of what happens if EU law exceeds the quota.

Redwood, it seems, is unabashed by these minor problems. "Well, we don't want that," he says. "That's why it is so important that there is a renegotiation with the Commission to ensure that we stop wave after wave of new regulation. At the moment British businesses are regulated by two governments, for three times the cost. That is clearly unacceptable."

There you are then… renegotiation. And with one bound, he was free.

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