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We must do what we can to encourage corporate responsibility. But we cannot leave companies to regulate themselves globally, any more than we can do in our own national economies." - Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, September 2001
Privatisation in the UK has been part of a broader strategy to increase the role of markets in former state industries, to change the means of public control (by substituting arms-length regulation for more direct political control) and to modify incentives to economic efficiency. This process has taken more than fifteen years so far, and will take longer still to come to come to full fruition.
The Government's approach to Company Law Reform has been dominated by a desire to please sections of the business lobby. This has undermined attempts to deliver corporate responsibility. In November 2005, Gordon Brown announced his intention to scrap the Operating and Financial Review (OFR), which would have obliged companies to report on their social and environmental performance. It is thus inevitable to take into consideration the underlying system of national (corporate) laws that regulates this field or that suffers from proper implementation, reform or application. ...
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