Several UK regulators are still grappling with the impact of Brexit. They are constantly struggling with staff shortages. There is also often a lack of data that is necessary to be able to perform their work properly.
According to a report from the National Audit Office, there would also be no clear long-term planning.
Regulators such as the competition watchdog CMA, the food and commodity authority FSA and HSE, the body that monitors national health and safety at work, have been given additional work due to Brexit. The three have also received additional funding for this. As a result, the workforce has also expanded. Nevertheless, it is challenging for the authorities to attract people with specialist skills.
Only a quarter of the vacancies for legal positions at the CMA had been filled in March. The agency has long had to compete with the private sector in finding and retaining staff with legal, economic and digital skills for competition and merger work. At the FSA and the HSE, there is especially a shortage of toxicologists, people who study the effects of chemicals on the environment and the health of people and animals.
The problems could delay regulatory decisions, the report said. The services also lose their ability to assess risks. Another factor is that they no longer have access to data and information exchange schemes with authorities in the EU. The report also notes that the pandemic and Brexit have made long-term planning difficult.