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12 May 2023

MPA welcomes Government’s retreat on REUL Bill

2160159709-Shutterstock-500px.jpgThe Mineral Products Association (MPA) has welcomed the Government’s decision to change direction on regulatory reform, altering its plans to automatically ditch EU laws by the year-end.

In its current form the Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill would have caused fresh uncertainty for British businesses, serving as a distraction from meaningful regulatory reform, according to the MPA which represents producers of essential mineral products such as aggregates, concrete and asphalt.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) announced on Wednesday 10th May that the REUL Bill will be amended to take out its ‘sunset clause’ which would have automatically revoked all EU-derived regulations at the end of the year unless explicitly retained or amended by the Government. DBT also published a policy paper outlining the Government’s new approach to regulatory reform.

MPA had expressed concerns about the sunset clause, writing to peers in the House of Lords to explain how the clause would have caused a new wave of disruption for producers of mineral products in areas like health, safety and environmental protection.

It would have risked diverting attention in Whitehall away from effective, meaning reforms and instead focused attention on reviewing the wording of EU-derived regulations which businesses have no desire to see changed.

In addition to the removal of the sunset clause, MPA welcomes the Government’s new policy paper on regulation, which echoes many of the recommendations made in its recent Smart Regulation document, including increased departmental oversight for regulators and considering commencing statutory reporting under the Growth Duty.

Robert McIlveen, MPA Director of Public Affairs, said: 

“We are pleased that the Government has listened to MPA and other industry groups, and moved to take out the most disruptive and counter-productive parts of the Retained EU Law Bill.”

“Our industry particularly values the EU-derived regulatory frameworks for health and safety, and environmental protection, so we are especially relieved to have more certainty about the future of these regulations.”

“While the amended Bill is by no means perfect, removing the ‘sunset clause’ reduces the uncertainty caused by the Bill, and will allow Government to focus on meaningful regulatory reform, rather than needlessly reviewing the text of EU-derived regulations that are well-regarded by businesses in our sector and others.”

“We are also encouraged that the Government appears to be listening to our point that real-world regulatory reform is achieved by improving regulator performance, and ensuring regulations are implemented in a more practical, consistent, and efficient manner.”

“We hope the Government will continue with the approach set out in its new policy paper, and over the course of its forthcoming regulatory reform packages, implement MPA’s recommendations for smart regulation in the mineral products sector.”


About the Mineral Products Association:

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the merger of British Precast, and affiliation of the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, the Cement Admixtures Assocation (CAA), CONSTRUCT, Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the UK Quality Ash Association (UKQAA), it has a growing membership of 520 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement and lime production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2018, the industry supplied £16 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy. It is also the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £172 billion in 2018. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors.

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