Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about the Red Tape Challenge

What is Red Tape Challenge about?
It’s about harnessing the experience and ideas of those who deal with regulation day-in, day-out to help us cut red tape. Through this site we’re gathering your thoughts on which regulations should stay, which can be merged, which can be scrapped and so on. Ministers and government officials will then use this information to help them cut the right regulations in the right way.

How did it work?
Every few weeks we published regulations relating to a specific sector – from retail to transport – and throughout the process we published general regulations that relate to all sectors, such as those on equality or health and safety. People came to the site and commented – and those thoughts were collated by government officials to provide a clearer picture of which regulations should stay, which should go and which should change. Ministers then had three months to decide which regulations they will scrap, with the presumption that all burdensome regulations would go unless the government departments could justify why they were needed. Find out more here.

How long did the process last?
The consultation process lasted from April 2011 until April 2013.

FAQs about included regulations

Which regulations were included?
The challenge looked at some of the stock of over 21,000 statutory rules and regulations that are active in the UK today. The priority will be to focus on regulations that we know place the biggest burdens on businesses and society.

Were any regulations excluded?
The exercise did not examine regulations in relation to tax or national security.

Why were tax regulations exempt from this exercise?
Separate arrangements are in place to simplify the tax system, led by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS).

FAQs about Enforcement

How is the Focus on Enforcement site linked to the Red Tape Challenge?
We are tackling unnecessary and inappropriate regulations through the Red Tape Challenge. But sometimes, the regulation itself is fine – it is inconsistent or inappropriate enforcement that causes problems or enforcement could just be so much better. The Focus on Enforcement review teams gather evidence directly from business to identify where enforcement can be improved, reduced or done differently and to discover and celebrate where it works really well, so others can learn from it. The Focus on Enforcement team also supports the new initiative, Business Focus on Enforcement which gives trade associations and representative business groups, instead of civil servants, the dominant role in identifying enforcement issues and driving reform to benefit their industries Visit their website here.

FAQs on EU regulations

Will you scrap EU regulations?
The UK government cannot scrap EU regulations, but we do recognise the burden they impose. That is why we are giving the public an opportunity to comment on how EU legislation has been implemented in the UK on this website. We will then review any instances of ‘gold-plating’ – where the UK has gone beyond the minimum required by the EU legislation.

What are you doing to address the burdens of EU regulations?
We are working with other EU Member States to try to make sure new burdens placed on business are off-set by savings elsewhere. We are pushing the European Commission to start by publishing the cost of planned regulations and setting a target to reduce the overall burden of EU regulation. We are also pressing the Commission to propose an expanded range of lighter regulatory regimes for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to mitigate the disproportionate costs that regulation imposes on them .

FAQs about devolved administrations

Do the regulations on the site apply across the UK?
The Government consulted on a wide range of regulations, some of which extend to the whole of the UK and some which are limited to England, depending on the relevant devolution settlement in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You can follow the link for each regulation to check which area it applies to.

Are you planning to abolish regulations in devolved areas?
The UK Government is not considering or consulting on regulations that are the responsibility of the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, we will look to work with the devolved administrations and hope that they will also see the benefits of the deregulation agenda.

FAQs on progress

How can I see what progress is made?
Any announcement on Red Tape Challenge decisions will be published on this website in our news page here, allowing you to see what action has been or will be taken.

How quickly will regulations be repealed?
At the end of the three-month review following each sector, departments were tasked with setting out which regulations would be repealed and by when. For those regulations that are going we will aim to repeal them as quickly as possible.

FAQs on the deregulation agenda

Where can I find out what new regulations are being introduced?
We have published a statement of new regulations implemented (or planned to be implemented) here

What are you doing to tackle the flow of new regulation?
The Government has pursued an ambitious deregulation agenda to stem the flow of new regulation. This has included introducing a new one-in, one-out rule, meaning Ministers have to identify an existing piece of regulation to be scrapped for every new one proposed;a strengthened role for the Regulatory Policy Committee to review the costs and benefits of new regulation proposals, and a three-year moratorium on domestic regulation for very small firms and start-ups.

Will the Red Tape Challenge continue?
On 27th January, the Prime Minister announced that Government had reached its target to identify 3,000 regulations to be scrapped or improved. Work is continuing to implement these reforms.The Government’s deregulatory programme, including the Red Tape Challenge, will last for the duration of this Parliament. Any decisions beyond the General Election are for the next administration.

FAQs on contacting us

Who are the Red Tape Challenge Team?
The Red Tape Challenge is a cross-Whitehall programme, and is led by a small central team across Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

How can I get in touch with the project team?
To contact the Red Tape Challenge project team you can either email us or write to us at

Red Tape Challenge
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
1 Victoria Street

Can I suggest sectors to look at?
Yes – we welcome any suggestions of sectors you think should be examined and you can send your suggestions through to us.

This site is designed to promote open discussion of ways in which the aims of existing regulation can be fulfilled in the least burdensome way possible. The presence of a particular regulation or law on this website should not be read as implying any intention on the part of the Government to remove that regulation or law from the statute book. The purpose of this exercise is to open government up to the public.

Bookmark and Share