Mineral Products Association pleased to see ‘sunset clause’ removed from Retained EU Law Bill
THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has welcomed the Government’s decision to change direction on regulatory reform, altering its plans to automatically ditch EU laws by the year-end.
In its current form the Retained EU Law Bill would have caused fresh uncertainty for British businesses, serving as a distraction from meaningful regulatory reform, according to the MPA.
The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) announced on Wednesday 10 May that the REUL Bill will be amended to take out its ‘sunset clause’ which would have automatically revoked all EU-derived regulations at the end of the year unless explicitly retained or amended by the Government.
DBT also published a policy paper outlining the Government’s new approach to regulatory reform.
The MPA had expressed concerns about the sunset clause, writing to peers in the House of Lords to explain how it would have caused a new wave of disruption for producers of mineral products in areas like health, safety and environmental protection.
It would have risked diverting attention in Whitehall away from effective, meaningful reforms and instead focused attention on reviewing the wording of EU-derived regulations which businesses have no desire to see changed.
In addition to the removal of the sunset clause, the MPA has welcomed the Government’s new policy paper on regulation, which echoes many of the recommendations made in the Association’s recent Smart Regulation document, including increased departmental oversight for regulators and considering commencing statutory reporting under the Growth Duty.
Robert McIlveen, MPA director of public affairs, said: ‘We are pleased that the Government has listened to the MPA and other industry groups, and moved to take out the most disruptive and counter-productive parts of the Retained EU Law Bill.
‘Our industry particularly values the EU-derived regulatory frameworks for health and safety, and environmental protection, so we are especially relieved to have more certainty about the future of these regulations.
‘Whilst the amended Bill is by no means perfect, removing the ‘sunset clause’ reduces the uncertainty caused by the Bill, and will allow the Government to focus on meaningful regulatory reform, rather than needlessly reviewing the text of EU-derived regulations that are well-regarded by businesses in our sector and others.
‘We are also encouraged that the Government appears to be listening to our point that real-world regulatory reform is achieved by improving regulator performance, and ensuring regulations are implemented in a more practical, consistent, and efficient manner.
‘We hope the Government will continue with the approach set out in its new policy paper, and over the course of its forthcoming regulatory reform packages, implement the MPA’s recommendations for smart regulation in the mineral products sector.’