The UK should slash regulation and overhaul the competitions authority to give the economy a post-Brexit boost, according to a report commissioned by the government.
The report, written by Tory MP John Penrose, calls for the government to create a “Brexit dividend” by “replacing bureaucratic EU rules with modern, digital equivalents”.
Penrose’s report, commissioned by the Treasury and Business Department last year, called for the government to implement to slash a swathe of EU rules to boost private sector competition and implement a “one in, two out” policy for new regulations.
The report comes after business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng recently ditched an inquiry into workers’ rights post-Brexit, after speculation the government would look to rip up EU rules that prevent people from being forced to work more than 48 hours a week.
Kwarteng denied last month that there would be a “bonfire of rights” post-Brexit.
Commenting on Penrose’s report, the business secretary said he would “consider the recommendations and respond in due course”.
“The UK’s competition laws and institutions are highly regarded across the globe, however as we build back better from the pandemic and start life as an independent trading nation, we have a golden opportunity to strengthen that reputation,” he said.
The report also calls for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to be “responsible for the overall progress of competition, consumer rights, supply-side reforms and productivity improvements”.
Penrose noted that the UK ranks “11th out of 30 European states for being on the side of the customers” and that the CMA should take a larger role in improving this standing.
“The CMA should publish an annual ‘State of Competition and Consumer Detriment’ report which measures and analyses progress and problems in both these areas across all sectors of the economy, and all parts of the country,” he said.
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “The CMA welcomes this report and shares Mr Penrose’s ambition for the competition and consumer regime.
“We agree that new legislation could make the competition and consumer protection regime stronger, swifter and more flexible so that we can deliver even more for UK consumers and businesses.”