Friday, June 21, 2024

Pavement dining to become a ‘permanent feature of the high street’ as Business secretary Kemi Badenoch announces plans to remove red tape for pubs, restaurants and cafes to make the most of ‘Brexit freedoms’

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  • Kemi Badenoch yesterday announced a package of reforms to boost businesses

Pavement dining will become a ‘permanent feature of the high street’ under plans to cut red tape and make the most of ‘Brexit freedoms’.

Kemi Badenoch yesterday announced a package of reforms to boost businesses.

Plans unveiled by the Business Secretary include proposals to remove regulations that make it hard for pubs, restaurants and cafes to get permission to serve customers outside.

Pubs could also be given the automatic right to sell takeaway pints. Temporary allowances were granted during the pandemic but are due to expire next year.

Yesterday’s package will also loosen some regulations on gambling, including allowing bingo halls to install fruit machines.

And the official definition of a medium-sized business will be doubled to those with 500 employees, removing thousands of smaller firms from onerous red tape, such as the requirement to publish ‘strategic reports’.

British Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, arriving at Downing Street for a UK government cabinet meeting in London

Pubs could be given the automatic right to sell takeaway pints. Temporary allowances were granted during the pandemic but are due to expire next year

Pubs could be given the automatic right to sell takeaway pints. Temporary allowances were granted during the pandemic but are due to expire next year

Small firms like cafes and corner shops could be permitted to ‘self-certify’ for some functions, meaning they would not be ‘subjected to needless inspections or mandatory training courses’ before they can serve customers.

Mrs Badenoch is also introducing a Whitehall principle that extra regulations should only be imposed when ‘absolutely necessary’. 

And regulators will be given a new ‘growth duty’ requiring them to show that they are helping firms to grow ‘at every opportunity’.

She said a regulation programme introduced in the wake of Brexit had already cut 50million hours of business admin per year, saving firms an estimated £1billion. 

‘This Government is seizing the benefits of Brexit by reducing burdens on business, pushing down the cost of living, and driving growth in every corner of the economy,’ Mrs Badenoch said.

Small firms like cafes and corner shops could be permitted to 'self-certify' for some functions, meaning they would not be 'subjected to needless inspections

Small firms like cafes and corner shops could be permitted to ‘self-certify’ for some functions, meaning they would not be ‘subjected to needless inspections

‘These reforms will give entrepreneurial businesses more opportunity to innovate, experiment, and capitalise on the UK’s global leadership in key sectors.’ 

Business leaders welcomed the news.  

Tina McKenzie, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said that smaller firms ‘suffer more’ from badly designed rules and ‘contradictory regulatory requirements’.

She added: ‘We’re especially pleased that the Government has adopted the principle of regulating as a last resort, instead of as a first response.’

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