Rebuilding the Regulatory Ecosystem

What regulatory reforms should a pro-growth Labour government adopt as it seeks to build a more successful and fairer economy? 

Since 2010, the Conservatives have failed to achieve their main objective of reducing regulation while, at the same time, making the quality of regulation worse. Many of the most memorable recent economic and social failures in Britain are in fact regulatory failures. The Grenfell Tower Fire, the collapse of Bulb (which cost taxpayers £6.5bn) and recent crisis at Thames Water all have their roots in successive Conservative government’s fixation on reducing the quantity of business regulation – rather than address the quality.

One in four regulatory impact assessments are rated “not fit for purpose” by the government’s own watchdog. This is the opposite of what an effective regulatory regime looks like. The Conservatives have left behind a dysfunctional regulatory system. Labour can and must rebuild it. 

Regulation is a vital part of any serious governing agenda. It is perhaps the most important — though often under-appreciated — tool that would be available to Labour should they form the next government. 

This report argues that Labour should take a different approach – rebuilding and reassessing business regulation based on quality. The end goal is regulation which supports the Party’s national missions –delivered in partnership with revitalised regulators.

Drawing on conversations with over a dozen current and former politicians, political advisers, civil servants and experts, as well as reviewing major regulatory policies from 1997 to the present day, this report sets out in 26 detailed recommendations how Labour can create better regulation that protects citizens and preserves opportunities for businesses.