Smarter regulation

This page sets out how the UK government’s smarter regulation programme seeks to reduce burdens on businesses and promote innovation and growth.

Smarter regulation means only using regulation where necessary, and ensuring its design and use is both proportionate and future-proof.

The smarter regulation programme across government is led by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). It has 3 pillars:

  • reforming existing regulations to minimise regulatory burden and ensure our regulations are contemporary and forward looking. This includes reforms to both retained EU law (REUL) and wider domestic regulation
  • making regulation a last resort, not a first choice. This includes making use of alternatives to regulation wherever beneficial
  • ensuring a well-functioning regulatory landscape

Policy papers


Calls for evidence


Policy decisions

Retained EU Law (REUL)

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (the REUL Act 2023) gives the government the power to amend EU laws.  The government is in the process of revoking and reforming complex regulations after proper assessment and consultation.


Press releases

Updates to this page

Published 15 September 2023
Last updated 17 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. Policy papers section updated to include links to smarter regulation white paper and one year on report.

  2. 'Smarter regulation: employment law reform', 'Smarter regulation: deregulating the commercial agents regulations' and 'Non-financial reporting review: simpler corporate reporting' added to consultations section of collection page.

  3. Department for Transport (DfT)'s 'Amendments to licensing restrictions: bus, coach and heavy goods vehicles' consultation added to the page.

  4. DfT's Future of Flight action plan added to the page under the "policy paper" section.

  5. Link to Department for Transport (DFT)'s consultation on proposed changes to legislation for electrically assisted pedal cycles added to the 'consultations' section.

  6. REUL Parliamentary Report added under the REUL section of Smarter Regulation page

  7. Dft's traffic regulation orders consultation outcome and their Government response, part 1 have been added to the page under the policy decision section.

  8. Consultation outcome on the "Choice on units of measurement: markings and sales" and press release on the 'Pints' of wine stocked on Britain's shelves for the first time ever" have been added to the page.

  9. 'Airport slot allocation system reform' consultation added to 'Consultations' section. 'Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC) changes' consultation outcome added to 'Policy decisions' section.

  10. The page has been updated with the Smarter regulation: regulating for growth and the Smarter regulation: strengthening the economic regulation of the energy, water and telecoms sectors consultations. The page has also been updated with DESNZ's Connections action plan, national Policy Statement for Energy and the Nick Winser Report Response.

  11. Retained EU employment law reforms added to the page under the "Policy Decisions" section.

  12. Early years foundation stage (EYFS): regulatory changes, UK Low Carbon Hydrogen Certification Scheme and UK battery consultation outcomes added to the page under 'Policy decisions'.

  13. Smarter regulation and the regulatory landscape call for evidence added to the page.

  14. DHSC's consultation on no or low alcohol labelling added to collection along with Defra's press release on government proposals for improved system for cattle registration.

  15. New section added for 'Calls for evidence'. 'Package travel legislation: updating the framework' and 'Smarter regulation non-financial reporting review: call for evidence' links added to new section.

  16. Link to 'Reforms to package holidays to encourage more choice and cheaper summer breaks' press release and 'Future of transport regulatory review: future of flight' consultation outcome added under 'Policy decisions'.

  17. Additional guidance on the Better Regulation Framework and an open consultation on Provision of Services Regulations 2009, have been added to the collection page.

  18. First published.