Research by the charity Unchecked UK (which campaigns for greater public protection of issues such as the environment and health and safety), has found that 68 per cent of businesses in the UK are concerned that the Retained EU Law Bill (LELR 791) will cause uncertainty for them and restrict trade.

Just over half said that they did not believe that the planned changes would simplify regulation for the benefit of UK businesses, with fewer than a fifth saying that excessive government regulation was the most important domestic issue facing them.

Indeed, seven in ten businesses told the researchers that the UK government regulates environmental practices “too little” (38 per cent) or the “right amount” (34 per cent), while just a fifth said that the government regulates business environmental practices too much.

Further, four in five UK businesses stated that they did not want to accept lower health and safety standards for their employees and customers. Just 7 per cent reported that they would be willing to accept a lowering of these standards.

Around three in ten businesses said that the government should not be reviewing EU-derived legislation at all, while just under a third reported that all EU-derived secondary legislation should be retained. Just two per cent believed it should all be removed from UK law.

When asked about government regulation of UK businesses, survey participants identified a number of advantages, the most important being to create a level playing field preventing firms from being undercut by businesses using poor corporate practices.

The second was to ensure public trust in businesses and the products they sell, while almost a quarter stated that regulation provides certainty for businesses, helping them to trade in Europe and the rest of the world. Only one in 20 businesses said that there were no advantages of government regulation of UK businesses.

Rather than being alarmed by the amount of regulation they face, UK businesses were much more concerned about the rise in energy costs and inflation. This was followed by concerns around Britain leaving the EU and shortages of labour which were flagged up by 45 per cent of businesses.

The findings emerged from a YouGov poll of 1,000 UK businesses on behalf of Unchecked UK, the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, and the Women’s Institute.

To read the report, click here.