Just one-fifth of UK businesses believe environmental regulations are too strong

3rd March 2023


Most UK businesses strongly support environmental regulation, with just one-fifth believing that the current rules are excessive, a new survey has found.

The YouGov poll of 1,000 firms, which was carried out on behalf of Unchecked UK, found that 38% believe that the government regulates environmental practices “too little”, while 34% think it is the “right amount”.

Just 18% of respondents said that excessive government regulation is the most important domestic issue facing them, with the rise in energy costs and inflation the most concerning on 70% and 65%, respectively.

Creating a level playing field, ensuring public trust in products, certainty for business, boosting trade and protecting the environment were the top five advantages of regulation cited. Only 5% said there are no advantages.

“Poll after poll show that the UK public supports strong protections and robust enforcement," Unchecked UK said in a statement.

"Regulations are seen by most people as essential in the pursuit of high food standards, environmental and animal welfare goals, and as a guarantee of their rights and safety at work.”

The survey also gathered views on deregulation via the Retained EU Law Bill, finding that most businesses believe it will cause uncertainty, restrict trade, and fail to deliver economic growth or business benefits.

Indeed, 68% of respondents said that the plans will cause more uncertainty for businesses, while 64% don’t think they will boost economic growth, compared to 27% that do.

Nearly two thirds of firms think that the plans will restrict access to trade markets, and over half do not believe they will simplify regulation for the benefit of businesses.

The Unchecked UK statement added: “We find little appetite for deregulation, with most British people unpersuaded that this is the right way to secure wider economic goals."

Image credit: Shutterstock

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