The British government says that European Union regulation is hampering economic growth, and has urged EU leaders to do more to ease the burden on businesses.
A government-backed report by business leaders in the United Kingdom, published on Tuesday (15 October), says that EU laws are costing the economy billions.
Michael Fallon, the UK’s minister for business and enterprise, told European Voice that UK diplomats would be seeking support to cut EU red tape and deepen the single market ahead of next week’s European Council (24-25 October), where the simplification of EU regulation already features on the agenda.
Fallon will today (17 October) present the report’s conclusions to Catherine Day, the European Commission’s secretary-general. The report, commissioned by David Cameron, the UK’s prime minister, identifies areas where EU legislation – or its absence – is holding back European businesses.
Among 30 recommendations, it argues that the EU should scrap plans to regulate shale-gas exploration and to require labels of origin for consumer goods. Abolishing the EU requirement that small businesses keep written records of health and safety risk assessments would benefit 220,000 small businesses in the UK and save the EU economy round €2.7 billion, it said. The report also calls for a revamp of employment rules in the directives on the posting of workers and on agency workers.
Fallon insisted that the recommendations were in no way “anti-Europe”, pointing out that they contained several calls for more EU intervention in areas such as the single market for services, the single digital market and the free-trade negotiations with the United States. The report claims that completing the digital single market and removing barriers to trade in services would increase the EU’s gross domestic product by a combined 5.8%. A successful transatlantic trade deal could boost the EU economy by €120bn annually, it says.
Fallon said he “welcomed” an initiative presented two weeks ago by José Manuel Barroso, the president of the Commission, outlining steps to reduce the administrative burden faced by EU businesses. The UK recommendations “complemented” the Commission’s proposal by providing specific examples, Fallon said. “The EU needs to go further and faster” in its efforts to cut red tape, he said.
In many respects the report by UK businesses overlaps with the initiative presented by the Commission. Both propose withdrawing Commission proposals on access to justice in environmental matters and on soil protection. Both also call for progress in completing the single markets for services and the digital economy, and highlight the benefits of proposals to create a single VAT form and a one-stop shop for clinical trials.
Click Here: Golf special