Research by Business for Britain shows that only 20 per cent of the initiatives suggested by the Government’s business task force have been implemented by the EU.
Last year the task force suggested 30 ways the EU could make it easier for UK companies to operate – but only six have been used.
And according to the Telegraph, in the same 12 month period the EU has introduced 1,139 new business regulations. These include how to make food smoke flavoured, new requirements for olive oil containers and when gin can be called ‘dry’.
Some of Britain’s best known chief executives made the suggestions but Eurocrats have decided against the majority of the rules. The EU has failed to progress or take steps against seven suggestions, four look set to be rejected completely and the rest have had some support from within the EU.
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: “The Government is fighting hard to put Europe on the side of business by pushing back the tide of regulation that stems from Brussels.
“The UK has put deregulation firmly on the agenda of the new [European] Commission … and expects urgent action to sweep away the red tape that gets in the way of growth.”
The report by Business Taskforce called ‘Cut EU Red tape’ was released in October last year by a team which included Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland, Kingfisher CEO Sir Ian Cheshire and former Diageo boss Paul Walsh.
They concluded that barriers to competitiveness, starting a company, expanding a company, trading and research and development leading to innovative new products needed to be removed in order to stimulate British business and generate growth and jobs in a sustainable manner without hugely expensive government spending.
The incoming Juncker Commission has only agreed with the following suggestions:
- The European Commission should withdraw its proposal to amend the Pregnant Workers Directive
- Drop costly new proposals on environmental impact assessments
- Remove unnecessary rules on SMEs transporting small amounts of waste
- Withdraw proposals on access to justice in environmental matters
- Withdraw proposals on soil protection
- The EU should… rapidly agree the new proposed regulation on clinical trials.
Following a speech by outgoing European Commission President Barroso, an EU spokesman said: “The Barroso Commission did not wait for the UK Business Taskforce report, valuable though it is, to start cutting red tape. It was a top priority from the beginning and over 6,100 legal acts have been scrapped since 2005.”
In May, a senior committee of the House of Lords said Britain’s fracking industry is being held back by environmental regulations drawn up in Brussels.