Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Cutting insurance red tape

The government has this week announced plans to slash red tape through reforms to insurance regulation – unlocking billions of pounds of investment in UK infrastructure by taking advantage of our increased freedom of action outside the EU.

  • Whether you voted Leave or Remain, the majority of those who cast a ballot voted Leave and we are no longer part of the EU, which brings advantages and disadvantages. It would be silly not to make full use of the former while dealing with the latter.
  • When Britain was subject to EU law, our insurance sector was subject to the Solvency II rules which have been in place since 2016 – but we now have an opportunity to create a new regime which makes it easier for insurance firms to unleash long-term capital and investment. 
  • So the UK government has announced reforms to the regulation of the UK insurance sector, including increasing the flexibility of insurers to invest in infrastructure, reducing the reporting and administrative burden placed on firms, and changing how credit risk is managed by businesses. 

This plan will unlock growth and ensure businesses can spend more of their money investing, innovating, and creating jobs, as we seize on the opportunities of Brexit. 

6 comments:

Paul Holdsworth said...

"Advantages and disadvantages" - who are you trying to kid?

Solvency II rules are currently being reviewed by the EU too, so we're just copying the EU and pretending it's a Brexit "opportunity".

Why not comment on some of the disadvantages? They're real enough.

Chris Whiteside said...

Of course there are advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage is that we don't have the "one size fits all" problem and can tailor these regulations to fit Britain's specific needs rather than the whole continent.

You don't have to be a leave supporter - and I wasn't - to recognise that now we have left it would be silly not to take advantage of this.

Paul Holdsworth said...

Can you give an example of a regulation that has been altered from the one size fits all approach, since Brexit, to our advantage?

And can you comment on a disadvantage, please? There's lots and lots to choose from. Something substantial would be good - like the explosion in red tape affecting trade with our friends in Europe, or the crisis in pig farming. But don't let me tie your hands - choose something really meaty, Chris.

Chris Whiteside said...

An example of an advantage was being able to run our own vaccine programme which was far more successful than the EU one.

Since I voted remain, and have never pretended otherwise or that I would not still vote remain if transported back to 2016 knowing everything I know today, it should hardly be a surprise that I think there are a whole load of disadvantages.

Perhaps the worst, and one of the problems I predicted before Brexit and gave as one of my three main reasons for voting Remain, has been the difficulties of trying to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland without imposing restrictions on travel and trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

That meaty enough for you?

Paul Holdsworth said...

Oh yes, plenty meaty enough - and tragically insoluble, too.

But your supposed "advantage" is fake.

From the FT:

"Rees-Mogg claimed that the UK’s successful vaccine rollout during the pandemic was down to Brexit. In fact, the UK — even if subject to political pressure — would have legally been able to eschew the EU’s vaccine programme if it were still part of the bloc."

Try again, Chris - just one clear advantage, please.

Chris Whiteside said...

From the second line on that is absurd - and I would have expected better from the FT.

It would have been extremely difficult for the UK to have our own vaccine programme separate from that of the European Medicines Agency if we had remained part of the bloc.

The EU caught up later from a poor start - and it is a good thing that they caught up because it is in the interests of all of us that everyone is protected against COVID-19.

But if you want a reminder of how this particular aspect of the battle of the pandemic looked a year ago, try looking at the Institute for Government report at

https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/eu-vaccine-debate

or this Channel 4 report

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/jabbed-inside-britains-vaccine-triumph


Even some people who regard Brexit as generally a disaster, like the author of this piece in the New Yorker, accepted that Britain's vaccination programme was a triumph

https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-the-uk/boris-johnsons-vaccine-miracle

I am not arguing that the advantages of Brexit outweigh the disadvantages. I simply argue that as the majority of those who voted cast their ballots that we should leave, and we have now left, it would be stupid in the extreme not to make the best of those advantages.

And anyone who imagines that there are no advantages at all from not being tied into "one size fits all" policies designed to cover the whole continent, or cannot accept that Britain's vaccination development programme was a great success and illustrates that point, is out of touch with reality.

I am not going to continue this argument, I have better things to do than rehash a debate which is stuck in the past. If you're still re-fighting the battles of 2016 and want to challenge someone to produce stronger arguments for Brexit, find a Leave voter and ask them to do it.

I voted Remain in 2016, I still think it was the wiser decision to vote Remain in 2016, but I also believe in democracy and those of us who voted Remain lost the vote. It is now 2022, Britain left the EU two years ago and it really is time to move on.