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Reforming the Regulators

Type: ReportsWritten by Tim Ambler & Keith Boyfield | Saturday 02 October 2010

This briefing paper, by ASI fellows Tim Ambler and Keith Boyfield, notes the extraordinary growth of the UK's regulatory agencies since 1997 and the deleterious consequences for the UK economy. They argue that the UK's regulators should first be restricted to their original, purely economic role, and subsequently merged into a single, competition-focused Office of Fair Trading.

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Knaves and Fawkes

Type: ReportsWritten by Tim Ambler & Keith Boyfield | Thursday 05 November 2009

In Knaves and Fawkes: Should we reform Parliament or just blow it up? Tim Ambler and Keith Boyfield argue that Parliament should re-assert its role as the UK's primary legislative authority and as the place where ministers  are called to account. They suggest that parliamentary time should be better allocated so as to give better attention to EU legislation and legislative statutory instruments, and that all regulators should be accountable to House of Commons select committees, not the government. Under their plans, the overall number of MPs would be reduced, but new "assistant MPs" would be empowered to deal directly with government departments on behalf of MPs' constituents.

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Financial Regulation

Type: ReportsWritten by Tim Ambler & Keith Boyfield | Friday 10 July 2009

Financial Regulation: What is the best solution for the EU? responds to the EU consultation papers Communication from the Commission, European financial supervision, {SEC(2009) 715} {SEC(2009) 716} and the accompanying Impact Assessment {COM(2009) xxx final} SEC(2009) xxx}. The authors also outline thier own proposals for the future of EU financial regulation.

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Regulatory Myopia

Type: ReportsWritten by Tim Ambler & Keith Boyfield | Thursday 18 June 2009

This response to Financial Services Authority Discussion Paper 09/2 argues that regulators, not under-regulation, are to blame for the financial crash. It points out that the banks are already minutely regulated, but that the regulators became so preoccupied with form-filling that they did not see that the whole financial system was at risk. What is needed is the kind of overall supervision that would have seen the potentially fatal risks that the banks were running and would have intervened to curb them. The authors suggest the Bank of England should take on this supervision role in future, and that far from being expanded, the powers of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), should be cut back to 'match its competence'.

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Road Map to Reform: Deregulation

Type: ReportsWritten by Tim Ambler & Keith Boyfield | Tuesday 20 November 2007

"Over-regulation depresses corporate profits, consumes valuable management time and saps entrepreneurial morale," say the authors. "It makes the UK less attractive to investors and destroys the wealth creation on which the whole of government depends."

There are three big sources of red tape - the EU, Whitehell, and the regulatory offices like Ofcom and Ofwat. For each one, we need to make sure that fewer new regulations are created, that existing ones are rationalized, and that enforcement does not become over-zealous.

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