HC Deb 11 July 2001 vol 371 cc782-3
6. Mr. John Bercow (Buckingham)

How many draft regulatory reform orders have been published since the passage of the Regulatory Reform Act 2001; and if he will made a statement. [1875]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Mrs. Barbara Roche)

The first proposal in the form of a draft order was laid before Parliament for scrutiny on 28 June. It will relax licensing in pubs and clubs for the forthcoming new year's eve.

During the passage of the Regulatory Reform Bill, the Government also published six consultation documents on other proposals for regulatory reform orders. There are more to follow.

Mr. Bercow

I shall not get too excited about that, but I warmly congratulate the Minister on her appointment. Will she confirm that, of the seven proposals made by the Government so far, only the one relating to gaming is deregulatory? Does she not understand the widespread suspicion and anxiety that much of the Government's activity in relation to the 2001 Act will be not deregulatory but re-regulatory? When will the Minister do her homework and study in detail the Regulatory Flexibility Act 1980 and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act 1996, both of which were passed by the Government of our good friends the United States of America?

Mrs. Roche

It is always good to hear from the hon. Gentleman. We would make a lot more progress if the hon. Gentleman's colleagues were not blocking the establishment of the Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee. Our record on regulatory reform, particularly with regard to small business, compares very favourably with that of the last Government.