Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: My Lords, one lesson of the pandemic is that in a crisis, government bodies, from the MRHA authorising vaccines to local authorities authorising pavement cafes, can take decisions in a fraction of the time they used to. Given the importance of encouraging the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones, will my noble friend put pressure on all government bodies to accelerate decision-making, by requiring them to publish the times they take to make decisions and by setting times after which approval will automatically be deemed to be given?

    Lord Agnew of Oulton: I very strongly support my noble friend’s views on this. We have seen some remarkable decision-making across government over the last few months, at a much faster rate than normal, and I encourage my noble friend to keep up his campaign to remind people of what is possible. In my own oversight of HMRC border-readiness, I used a simple mantra, which is that it does not take any longer to make a decision than not to make a decision, and it was remarkable how quickly decisions were made. I hope very much that we can continue with that philosophy.