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UK Housebuilding Starts Off Brexit Red Tape Initiative

UK Housebuilding will be the initial focus of the cross-party initiative to identify EU regulations that the Brexit process can quickly amend, according to recent news.

Oliver Letwin, former Cabinet Office minister, recently launched the Red Tape Initiative, whose goal is to find rapid strategies that can be put in place to help British businesses become more productive as part of the Brexit process.

The former minister told Civil Service World, the Whitehall publication, that he envisioned that the programme would carry out approximately 10 inquiries, all of them sector-specific, over the next two years. The first one will examine ways to ease burdens on the UK housebuilding industry.

Mr Letwin said that this particular inquiry is scheduled to take place in June, and will include input and feedback from the Home Builders Federation as well as other industry organisations. The second inquiry, which is set to begin later this summer, will review challenges faced by infrastructure construction.

The Home Builders Federation said that it was still too early to specify which EU regulations it wanted to see withdrawn in the interest of supporting the industry, but representatives confirmed that its members would be consulted.

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James Slaughter, HBF director of external affairs, said that they would be reviewing a range of EU environmental, technical, and financial requirements to see how unneeded regulations for attaining public policy objectives can be eliminated for the future.

Mr Letwin said that the Red Tape Initiative’s purpose was to situate itself between the Great Repeal Bill, which proposes the repatriation of EU law when the UK officially leaves, and future trade details that will be examined and renegotiated to formulate a new relationship with the remaining member states.

He explained that the Red Tape Initiative would transmit recommendations to the government, at which point ministers would have to decide how to carry on. He added that the expectation would be that changes to regulations would pertain only to domestic matters and not have an impact on Brexit negotiations.

UK Housebuilding firms are likely to be especially interested in changes to the Habitats Directive and the EU Wild Birds Directive, but it remains uncertain whether they will merit consideration under the initiative’s current criteria.


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