The Lisbon Treaty has cost UK business £12.2 billion ($20 billion) since it was ratified in late 2009.
New research released today by campaign group Business for Britain shows how big an impact the EU is having on British firms. The group, who represent members of Britain’s business community who want to see the EU reformed, also state that the regulatory effects of the treaty will cost business a further £6.1 billion per year from now on.
The final cost will likely be up to £96.5 billion.
The treaty gave the European Union sweeping powers to legislate on new areas of British life. The report cites examples of costly intrusion, such as laws requiring firms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including a law specifically targeted at car manufacturers.
There are also regulations standardising battery production in the UK and the components that go into cars.
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Business for Britain, said in a statement, “The Lisbon Treaty was hugely unpopular at the time, and we can now see that it has increased the cost of doing business in Britain.”
“Our research makes a compelling case for the government to use the forthcoming renegotiation to reverse some of the most expensive provisions of the Lisbon Treaty.”
Last year, 500 UK business leaders signed a letter by Business for Britain supporting a renegotiation of the terms of Britain’s EU membership, including a devolution of powers back from Brussels.
If he wins next year’s General Election, Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the EU in 2017, after having re-negotiated membership terms.