The Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the British Government’s “Brexit department” are debating whether to disengage the UK from thirty-four European regulators for sectors including life sciences, aviation, technology, food and drink and financial services post-Brexit. The Confederation of British Industry Group has warned that whilst this decision is being deliberated, British businesses should be concerned over this further uncertainty and confusion. Speaking in the House of Commons on 19 December, Mrs May confirmed that no decision had been made yet and stated that all the UK’s European relationships must be considered. According to a report in the Financial Times, neither the British Government nor the Confederation of British Industry Group are able to put a price tag on the cost of replicating European regulators in the UK to keep the rules for business as similar as possible.
The aerospace and aviation sectors are deeply concerned at the prospect that the UK will pull out of the European Aviation Safety Agency, which sets rules for certification of everything from aircraft and their components to flight training schools. According to Simon Whalley at the Royal Aeronautical Society, as the aviation and aerospace industries have to fund their own regulation, reversing that process would be “a considerable burden”. The Confederation of British Industry Group have called for a “smooth exit” from the EU to avoid disruption to a range of industries. Several sectors, including chemicals, plastics and technology, want assurances that their contracts dependent on EU law will not face challenges as a result of any future regulatory changes.