Dear Mr Clegg,
Congratulations on your appointment as Deputy Prime Minister. I was pleased to read a copy of your first speech in that role, where you set out an excellent agenda for strengthening our civil liberties and repealing measures taken by the last government.
You have invited contributions of items to include in your Great Repeal Bill. As one who argued strongly over the last decade that we needed substantial repeals, to reverse the flow of law and regulation that is damaging both our liberties and our prosperity, I welcome this. I have pleasure in submitting a few examples of items that should be included in the first Bill. Many of these are taken from “Freeing Britain to compete”, the study of Economic Policy I wrote in the last Parliament. It is available as the last listed download on www.johnredwood.com on the right hand side of the site. Some are taken from suggestions contributed to www.johnredwood.com in my latest consultation.
1. Repeal Working Time Regulations – people should be free to work overtime if they wish. This single item was the biggest extra burden on business in the last 13 years.
2. Repeal Data Protection Act. Keep a requirement on data haolders to look after data, and keep a citizen’s right to their data and its fair handling, but eliminate the quango and licensing regime.
3. Money laundering regulations. Make them less costly and ineffective. Requiring people to supply a passport and utility bill does not stop money laundering but does create a lot of extra cost in the system.
4. Abolish compulsory Home Information Packs – as planned by the Coalition government
5. Mortgage regulation – remove the last government’s detailed mortgage regulation which clearly failed, and strengthen cash and capital regulation of banks and other mortgage providers to avoid future crashes.
6. Remove Gaming licenses for charities
7. Abolish Mandatory horse passports
8. Remove recent over the top regulation of herbal medicines
9.Opt out of Food Supplements Directive
10.Restore statutory dismissal procedures to pre 2000 position
11.Restore social chapter opt out and define UK rules in these araes
12. Repeal compulsory metrication
13. Combine disclosure to the Inland Revenue and Companies House for smaller companies – one form fits all
14 Repeal IR 35
15 Abolish Best Value regime for local government
16 Abolish Comprehensive Performance Assessment regime for Councils
17 Abolish Regional Housing Boards and regional targets
18 Abolish Regional Development Agencies
19 Repeal Legislative and Regulatory reform Act
20 Amend Waste Incineration Regulations 2002 to allow more recycling
21 Amend Health and safety regime to make it more proportionate and effective
22 Repeal Digital Economy Act 2010 cl 11-18
23 Repeal Investigatory powers Act 2000 – too intrusive
24 Repeal Charities Act 2006 – too bureaucratic
25 Repeal Labour’s Terrorism Acts and replace with simpler system which damages the civil liberties of the innocent majority less.
26 Cut the use of surveillance cameras and design safer and less congested roads and junctions instead.
27 Repeal the SI requiring 11 million people to have CRB checks before helping children.
These measures would not only restore civil liberties and free more companies to create extra jobs and compete more successfully, but they would also cut public spending on regional and regulatory overhead. More of the detail explanation is available in “Freeing Britian to compete”, pp 53-65 and pp 153-189.
The most popular repeal from contributors to my website would be to repeal the section in the Health Act that bans smoking in all public places, to allow smoking again in specified rooms and areas