Thatcherite think tank urges UK to shake off EU regulatory regime

An influential Thatcherite think tank has called for Britain to shake up its regulatory regime to ensure legacy EU rules do not crowd out innovation after Brexit.

The Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) has urged the government to introduce a “British innovation principle” to avoid choking the UK economy’s competitiveness.

The IEA warned the UK’s decision to incorporate the EU’s regulatory framework into domestic law will lead to a decline in innovation in many sectors of the economy.

“Innovation provides the tools to conserve the environment and improve environmental and health outcomes,” the IEA said.

“In this respect, an innovation principle is not a competitor with the precautionary principle, but a necessary addition to it in achieving sustainable outcomes.”

“Without reforms, the UK will import the burdens of the precautionary principle.”

The EU precautionary principle is designed to prevent harm from economic activity. Brussels introduced an innovation principle to ease the regulatory burden on businesses, but the UK has not done this since leaving the EU.