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Business-led Taskforce on EU Regulation (Report)

Volume 568: debated on Tuesday 15 October 2013

Well designed and proportionate EU legislation benefits the economy, for example by eliminating outstanding barriers to the single market. But imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens on business stifles innovation, job creation and growth, particularly for small companies. This must be addressed, especially in the current economic climate. Reducing the burden of EU regulation on business is a priority for this Government.

In June, the Prime Minister therefore appointed a taskforce of six business leaders to look at reforms to EU rules, regulations and practices (both existing and proposed) to put the voice of business at the heart of the debate on cutting EU red tape. The members of the taskforce were Marc Bolland, chief executive M&S; Ian Cheshire, CEO Kingfisher; Glenn Cooper, managing director ATG Access; Louise Makin, CEO BTG; Dale Murray CBE, entrepreneur and Angel Investor; and Paul Walsh, Diageo.

The Government are today publishing the taskforce’s report: “Cut EU red tape”. The taskforce has drawn on over 100 business voices from across Europe, who have generated more than 250 proposals. Their report suggests practical ways to solve the day-to-day frustration, confusion and costs caused by poorly designed EU rules.

The taskforce sets out 30 clear recommendations to improve the most burdensome EU rules, covering the full range of business operations, including addressing barriers to overall competitiveness, starting a business and trading across borders.

Furthermore, the report proposes new principles—the “compete” principles—as a common sense filter through which any new EU regulations must pass to ensure they are pro-innovation and pro-growth.

The Government warmly welcome the taskforce’s report and its concrete proposals for reducing unnecessary costs and burdens for business. We will be considering all these recommendations in detail as a priority; they will be a key part of our work to cut unnecessary EU regulation, including at the forthcoming October European Council.

We shall also be looking at how to take forward all of the suggestions from stakeholders that did not make it into the final report.

Copies of the taskforce’s report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The report is also available online at: