An etract from the Speech:
This debate is important because the whole area of
risk and regulation impacts on two key issues:
firstly on our competitiveness as an economy; and
secondly on the relationship between the state and
It is a familiar strand of public discourse that
British business is allegedly drowning in a sea of
red tape and that we have an over protective state
molly coddling the public, banning their children
from playing conkers or from other everyday
At the same time, the state is also the subject of
appeals to act, to “do something” in the face of the
latest danger or crisis.
These debates can be intense and the calls to action
strong. Amidst it all, politicians have to make the decisions
and be accountable for them.
There are many voices in this debate. But it is
government which ultimately has to decide the
rules about whether a risk is so great that action
needs to be taken or whether it is an allowable risk,
or indeed to judge whether what was necessary to
regulate in the past may have become unnecessary
to regulate in the future.
So my starting point is this: I agree with the BRC
report that the zero risk society is neither
achievable nor desirable. The level of government
interference it would require would make life
Some risk in life is good, indeed essential.
We want Britain to be an enterprising dynamic
economy where people of ingenuity, drive and
ambition can not just have great ideas but see them
put into practice.
This should be a country known around the world
for its openness, its endless curiosity and its belief
in the possibilities that the future holds.