David Cameron takes red tape fight to the EU
Article 3 minute read

David Cameron takes red tape fight to the EU

15 November 2013

In a recent tweet, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I’m determined to get the EU working for business, not against it".

This statement came after the release of a report detailing how unnecessary regulation from the continent is costing British firms billions of pounds.

The government report "Cut EU red tape" contains 30 recommendations by six heavy-hitters appointed by Mr Cameron to the Business Taskforce on EU regulation. The results are based on consultations with over 100 business voices across Europe and call for regulation to be reduced.

Mr Cameron was quick to back the findings and will take the fight to the EU as part of a continuation of his government’s red-tape crackdown.

"It’s vital that business can take full advantage of the EU’s single market," said Mr Cameron. "But all too often EU rules are a handicap for firms, hampering their efforts to succeed in the global race. Business people, particularly owners of small firms, are forced to spend too much time complying with pointless, burdensome and costly regulations and that means less time developing a new product, winning contracts or hiring young recruits," he continued.

Firms certainly know the importance of smooth and simple processes for growth and success, but whether or not the EU will take the latest recommendations on board remains to be seen.

Strategies for cutting red tape

Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Enterprise, notes: "Unnecessary interference from Brussels still restricts the creation of new jobs, slows growth and makes Europe less competitive globally".

To free up the business environment, industry leaders laid down several key proposals in the report, designed to directly reduce red tape across the EU, scrap the requirement for small businesses in low-risk sectors to keep written health and safety risk assessments. This would support around 220,000 UK companies alone and save businesses across the EU around €2.7bn.

  • Reform employment law and scrap plans to introduce new rules for employee consultation and subcontracting.
  • Exempt micro-enterprises from new employment law proposals.
  • Abandon plans to force small businesses to pay fees to register to collect and transport waste.
  • Simplify costs and complex chemical regulations immediately to further the competitiveness of small firms.
  • Support ecommerce by simplifying labelling requirements and improving standards for cross-border parcel delivery.
  • Speed up approval processes for the pharmaceuticals industry through new clinical trial regulations.
  • Fast track measures to set a maximum cap on the fees applicable to card, internet and mobile payments. This will lower costs for retailers and SMEs.

Putting the focus on growth

Growth is at the heart of the report, with the strategies designed to break down common barriers for firms and simplify business processes.

To ensure this remains the case, the Business Taskforce has proposed a set of 'Compete' principles, to assess new EU legislation on their pro-growth merits. This entails rejecting any regulation that does not cut costs for businesses.

Taking the stress away from businesses

"All businesses want to focus on the real work of selling more products, making their operations more efficient and employing more people," says Dale Murray, entrepreneur and Angel investor.

TMF Group understands how important this is and works to help businesses improve speed to market by taking on the burden of the back office. We can help with company incorporation, HR and payroll, office space, corporate secretarial, accountancy and tax, to name but a few services.

Louise Makin, CEO at BTG, notes: "It is vital for our economic growth that European regulations do not hinder business but instead help us achieve success by providing incentives for innovation and support our ability to access new markets. I hope that the European Commission will consider all of these recommendations as a priority and implement them as soon as possible."

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