Prime Minister Boris Johnson set up a task force to recommend regulatory reforms in the wake of newfound regulatory freedom in the UK post-Brexit. The Terms of Reference for this task force - which is titled the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) - sets out the following purpose and objectives:
- Opportunities which could drive innovation and accelerate the commercialisation and safe adoption of new technologies, cementing the UK’s position as a global science and technology superpower.
- Opportunities to reduce barriers to entry in specific markets and make markets more dynamic and contestable across the economy.
- Opportunities to reduce administrative barriers to scaling up productive businesses; and to tailor any necessary processes to the needs of UK start-ups and SMEs while maintaining the Government’s commitment to high environmental standards and worker protections.
- Opportunities to improve small business’ experience of necessary regulatory requirements.
- Sectors of the economy or regulatory frameworks which should be prioritised for further regulatory deep dives.
As of 11 June 2021, the FT reports that the TIGRR is set to shortly publish a report recommending that City pension funds be given more flexibility to invest in fast-growing smaller businesses (including unicorn technology companies), proposing changes to MiFID II and suggesting regulatory changes to boost investment in 10 fast-growing sectors (including life sciences and agritech).
The UK faces a post-Brexit balancing act in cases where it decides to make changes to EU-derived legislation such as MiFID II. The UK’s strategy regarding the EU regulatory regime (at least in the short to medium term) is to retain broad equivalence in regulatory outcomes, but with an ambition to streamline or to improve specific rules. We are keeping a close eye on any divergence between the UK and EU regimes with a view to providing advice and knowhow to clients expected to comply with the rules in both jurisdictions.