Liz Truss rips up more EU red tape as she aims for a Brexit boom

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Liz Truss has announced she will tear up more EU red tape to allow British business to boom and take advantage of Brexit freedoms. The Prime Minister and her Business secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg have announced that they are to redefine the term “small business” freeing 40,000 businesses from burdensome paperwork.

The move was only made possible because Britain has left the control of the EU and will mean that any company with fewer than 500 employees can now be designated as a small business.

Previously, the definition applied to those with between 50 and 249 employees and it set a low bar deterring companies from growing and creating more jobs.

The announcement comes after last week’s mini-budget which launched a new growth strategy with the aim of making the British economy grow by at least 2.5 percent a year.

Ms Truss has vowed to “get Britain moving” – the slogan of this year’s party conference in Birmingham – and end years of Brussel-led stagnation and needless regulation.

She said: “By raising the definition of a small business, in terms of regulation, from 250 to 500 employees, we will be releasing 40,000 more businesses from red tape.

“That will make it easier for them to get on with their business, in turn boosting our economy and creating more jobs to help get Britain moving.

“Higher economic growth means higher wages, better jobs, and more funding for our public services and NHS”.

The change of the rule comes in tomorrow and was one of the major items identified by Mr Rees-Mogg when he was Brexit Opportunities minister in Boris Johnson’s government.

The exemption will be applied in a proportionate way to ensure workers’ rights and other standards will be protected, while at the same time reducing the burden for growing businesses.

Regulatory exemptions were often granted for small businesses, which the EU defines as below 250 employees.

However, the UK is now free to take its own approach and exempt more businesses to those with under 500 employees.

The changed threshold will apply to all new regulations under development as well as those under current and future review, including retained EU laws.

The Government will also look at plans to consult in the future on potentially extending the threshold to businesses with 1000 employees, once the impact on the current extension is known.


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This is the first step in a package of reforms to ensure UK business regulation works for the UK economy.

The reforms will harness the freedoms the UK has since leaving the EU to remove bureaucratic and burdensome regulations on businesses, while streamlining and making it easier for them to comply with existing rules, ultimately saving them valuable time and money.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Our enterprising medium-sized businesses are being buried in pointless paperwork, preventing them from reaching their world-leading potential.

“That is why we are cutting red tape, starting with preventing unnecessary future regulations for these companies.

“We are harnessing the freedoms the UK has since leaving the EU, removing bureaucratic and burdensome regulations on businesses, and taking steps to create a dynamic, growth-led economy.”

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