HC Deb 17 June 2004 vol 422 c1035W
Mr. Stephen O'Brien

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 27 May 2004,Official Report, column 1727W, on Regulation, (1) what assessment he made of the recommendation of the Mandelkern Group on Better Regulation Final Report of 13 November 2001 that simplification does not mean deregulation; and what his assessment is of the adoption of this recommendation in the Better Regulation Action Plan published by the European Commission in June 2002; [178859]

(2) which section of the European Commission's Better Regulation Action Plan provides for the removal of existing legislation which is in force; and if he will make a statement. [178861]

Ruth Kelly

The Government is working with its partners, through the joint initiative on regulatory reform, to ensure that the framework of existing European law is subject to thorough review.

In doing this it is building on the Commission's Better Regulation Action Plan, which was developed in response to the Mandelkern Report as well as the Commission's White Paper on European Governance, and other submissions.

The simplification workstream of this Action Plan covers a broad range of tools. Its aim is to reduce the costs of regulation while preserving overall policy objectives. This can include removal or revision of existing legislation. The Commission's progress report stated that simplification includes "efforts to simplify the substance of a policy … in such cases it may be necessary to adapt or to entirely rethink the legislative approach,"1

1 COM (2003) 623 final: First Report on the Implementation of the Framework Action Plan Updating and Simplifying the Community Acquis, p8