HC Deb 16 March 1993 vol 221 cc210-1W
Dr. Strang

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the organisations which have been or will be consulted about his deregulation initiative; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer

The organisations consulted by my Department about the deregulation initiative number many hundreds. On food measures alone, 240 organisations have been consulted.

Dr. Strang

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which licences of regulations from the list which he placed in the Library as referred to in his answer to the hon. Member for South Shields (Dr. Clark) on 17 February 1992, Official Report, column 26, he is still considering as part of his deregulation initiative; what new licences and regulations he is considering as part of this initiative; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer

The list of regulatory measures placed in the Library of the House on 17 February 1992 is shortly to be superseded by a more detailed list of regulations which affect industry. This is referred to as the baseline list. Under the Prime Minister's initiative on deregulation, all Whitehall Departments will include their baseline lists in a composite document to be laid in the House Library. Deregulation plans are being drawn up within my Department on the basis of the baseline list and informed by comments being received on the original list of measures placed in the Library of the House. A plan for deregulating food law was sent to interested organisations for comment earlier this month and has been in the Library of the House. All measures on the baseline list are open to review under the deregulation initiative. I have introduced five deregulatory principlesregulation last: the regulatory approach will be followed only where fully justified and where some less burdensome route—e.g., through codes of conduct—is seen to be inadequate; need criteria: all national and EC regulations will be examined against strict need criteria and, in the case of legislation arising out of EC obligations, the principle of subsidiarity, as agreed at the Edinburgh European summit; cost: the EC Commission will be asked to produce compliance cost assessments with all new proposals for EC legislation; and Government Departments will produce such assessments for all proposed national legislation which does not arise directly out of Community law; competition: in implementing Community law, the Government will seek to ensure that United Kingdom industry is not placed at a disadvantage compared with its competitors in other member states; consultation: business representatives will be fully consulted at the earliest possible stage on the effect of proposed new regulations on their own sectors.

Proposals for new licences and regulations will be scrutinised against these principles and will be subject to widespread consultation with the business and other interests concerned.

Mr. Sproat

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 5 February,Official Report, column 375, if he has now finished compiling and has checked for accuracy and consistency of definition the comprehensive provisional list of regulations for which his Department is responsible; and when he intends to place the list in the Library.

Mr. Curry

Work is proceeding as quickly as possible on checking my Department's list of regulations affecting business. A consolidated list of regulations for all Departments will be compiled by the central deregulation unit of the DTI and placed in the Library as soon as possible.