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Brexit

UK lawmaker to lead competition review in light of pandemic, Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s finance ministry said a review of the country’s competition rules would consider ways they could be improved as the economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and starts life outside the ambit of the European Union.

A member of parliament, John Penrose, who previously worked for bank JP Morgan and management consultancy McKinsey, will lead the review.

“John Penrose’s work will help ensure that we can drive innovation, produce better outcomes for consumers and allow new entrants to the market to grow,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

A report would be delivered before the end of the year, the finance ministry said.

Britain is due to end a post-Brexit transition period on Dec. 31. It has so far not agreed a new trade deal with the EU.

The government has previously launched a Digital Markets Taskforce, which will look at shaking up the online sectors, and has also reviewed competition rules for pharmaceuticals and statutory audits.

“Nonetheless, there is always room for improvement,” the finance ministry said in a statement.

It said the ruling Conservative Party had pledged before the 2019 election to tackle consumer rip-offs and bad business practices and to support businesses challenging incumbents.

Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Kate Holton and Andrew Heavens

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