Regulation and deregulation described, explained and analysed.
Regulation protects the weak and vulnerable. Regulation protects the environment. But regulation costs time and money. And it makes illegal that which would otherwise be legal. Regulation is therefore always controversial, and it can be very complex.
The United Kingdom has a well-deserved reputation for sensible regulation. It was an innovator in deregulation and economic regulation, and it is now home to tough no-nonsense regulators who nevertheless deploy sensible discretion about who to punish and when. There have however been some dreadful regulatory failures - the financial crisis, Stafford hospital, Grenfell Tower. And the burden of regulation is getting heavier, not only for business but also for the police, teachers etc. - and for taxpayers who have to foot the bill. Are we over-protecting our children? And is 'the regulatory state' now too powerful?
Regulation is also a huge part of government, but it hardly features in civil service training. This website accordingly explores current regulatory issues and describes current best practice. Its author was formerly Chief Executive of the UK's Better Regulation Executive and then the Competition Commission.
Those interested in other aspects of government might like to investigate other Understanding Government websites which look at the UK civil service, policy making, and 'speaking truth to power'.
Communications, Technology & Internet Regulation
- Regulation and Innovation - with separate pages looking at:
- Big Tech & Social Media
- Criticisms of their behaviour
- Too powerful to be regulated?
- Social Media, Fake News & Internet Safety
- Privacy and Data Protection
- Consumer Protection
- Communications Regulation
- Postal Services
- The Regulatory Burden - Four Areas of Concern
- Has Deregulation Gone Too Far?
- The Financial Crisis & Other Catastrophes
- The Grenfell Tower Fire
- Failure to Learn from previous tragedies
- HMRC and Taxation
- Regulating Individuals and Small Firms
- Regulatory Budgets
- Consumer Protection
- Concerns about the Over-Use of Henry VIII Powers
- 'Nudging' and Behavioural Economics
- Transposing EU Legislation - and Gold-plating (on Civil Servant website)
- The Public Sector
- International Comparisons
- Deregulation in the UK - 1948-2006 2007-2010 2010-2015 2015-2017 2017- date
- Introduction & Overview
- What Has Competition Ever Done For Us?
- Is Competition Always a Good Thing?
- What About Quality & Service?
- Competition Policy - A Brief History
- The Competition Regime from 2002
- Competition Policy 2014-20
- Competition Policy 2020 - date
- Competition Appeals
- Designing Effective Remedies
- How to Present Complex Economic Theories to Judges
The Five Policy Areas
Further information About this website, and Contact information, is here.
There is an extensive on-line reference library.
Several of the key issues discussed on the website have been brought together in a Cambridge University Policy Brief - Getting Regulation Right .
My blog is here and a link to my Twitter feed is in the footer below.
These websites have other interesting detail:
- The Better Regulation Executive
- The UK Civil Service
- Protect- formerly Public Concern at Work - runs the Better Regulators Campaign which aims to improve responses to whistle-blowing in the regulatory sector
Academic experts, and some of their writing, are listed here.