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Brexit: Monograph 6 - post-Brexit regulation

2016-08-12 07:27:38

Published today is our Monograph 6, on "Post-Brexit regulation".

The importance of this subject cannot be overstated. Prominent elements of the Brexit debate in the run-up to the EU referendum were discussions about the cost of EU regulations and the potential for massive deregulation, with the prospect of a vast "bonfire of regulation" offered by leave campaign, effectively as a reward for voting to leave the EU.

Underlying this debate, which continues to this day, was an assumption that regulatory costs are a measure of undesirability on the basis that the higher the cost, the less desirable they are and that reducing regulatory costs is a policy objective worth pursuing.

In this Monograph, we examine the role of regulation, with specific reference to regulatory costs. We then assess the regulatory costs attributable to the EU and how they arise. From there, we move on to evaluate claims that Brexit might bring significant savings in regulatory costs.

Specific reference is made to the Open Europe study, published in October 2013, in which it was claimed that "the top 100 EU laws cost the UK economy 27.4 billion a year".

We also review the further report in 2015 which put the cost at 33.3 billion for this "top 100". 2 In conclusion, we explore whether deregulation is a practical proposition or, for that matter, even desirable, or whether the focus should be elsewhere.