Queen’s Speech comment: Scrapping EU regulations is ‘a double-edged sword for SMEs and consumers’

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  Posted by: electime      11th May 2022

The international delivery expert ParcelHero says plans to jettison EU regulations, far from reducing costs for small retailers and SMEs, may increase red tape and cost consumers more.

In yesterday’s Queens Speech, delivered by Prince Charles, the UK Government revealed a number of new measures it said will ‘seize the opportunities of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.’

The international delivery expert ParcelHero says the opportunity to change UK business rules is very much a double-edged sword. While this could reduce costs for companies, it is also likely to introduce a situation where many products and services have to meet separate EU and UK regulations.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘While SMEs and retailers will be pleased the Government announced measures to “promote competition and strengthen consumer rights”, companies trading oversees will not want to see any divergence between UK and EU regulations which would mean their products can’t be sold in Europe.

‘It is fine in principle that the new Brexit Freedoms Bill “will enable law inherited from the European Union to be more easily amended”. However, where that means significant divergence from EU law for products, packaging or online services, businesses will not want to have to meet two different sets of regulations.

‘Nor do UK companies want to face a raft of new domestic sales and infrastructure requirements simply because this is now possible. This could end up in increasing costs, which would then be passed on as price rises for Britain’s beleaguered shoppers.

‘For example, the speech mentioned new data protection measures. Many retailers and businesses have spent considerable sums meeting strict new EU data regulations. To have these replaced by yet more new, UK specific, regulations will again increase costs and present significant problems for UK digital services and online marketplaces that also operate in Europe.

‘Almost a year and a half on from Brexit, the upsides are still hard to find. Hopefully the new Free Trade legislation, the Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill, will finally show important new markets opening up, to replace those lost when the UK left the EU.

‘ParcelHero’s in-depth analysis of the ongoing UK-EU trade problems, can be read at:  https://www.parcelhero.com/research/brexit-study