British Firms Dealing With Increase In EU Legislation

Nearly 3,600 New EU Business Laws Have Been Introduced Since 2010


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Nearly 3,600 new business regulations have been introduced by European leaders since 2010, a report has revealed.

Figures published by campaign group Business for Britain highlighted how many laws have been sanctioned at EU-level in the past three years.

It discovered an extra 13 million words of bureaucracy have been added since May 2010 and if companies were to read the legislation from start to finish, it would take them more than 92 working days on average.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of Business for Britain, said the EU has an "addiction to red tape" and this needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

"No-one would argue that a single market needs some regulation to function properly, but the volume and frequency of new directives being generated is a serious restraint to British businesses," he commented.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have raised concerns about the multitude of seemingly unnecessary regulations that are hindering their growth plans.

These latest figures will add even more fuel to the debate over the UK's membership of the EU ahead of a referendum on the issue in 2017.

David Cameron has made no secret of his desire to make it easier for startup organisations to expand and has consistently described SMEs as the backbone of the nation's economy.

Last week, business minister Jo Swinson announced details of a number of proposed legal reforms that could have a positive impact on 3.2 million British firms.

The main purpose of the amendments, she suggested, is to remove unnecessary administrative burdens, allowing SMEs to concentrate on developing innovative new products and services, rather than paperwork. This will help to build a stronger UK economy, Ms Swinson claimed.

In addition to this, a government-commissioned panel of leading businesses - including the likes of Marks & Spencer - has identified 30 specific EU regulations that should be scrapped in order to give British companies more breathing space.

Expert Opinion
These findings certainly illustrate the amount of bureaucracy that small and medium-sized firms have to deal with. We know how important SMEs are to the success of the UK economy, but if they are weighed down with red tape, they will simply not be able to grow and realise their ambitions.

"In order to take advantage of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists here in the UK, businesses should receive support for dealing with these regulations. We strongly support initiatives designed to get rid of unnecessary red tape and in addition to removing them, we think it is important that more are not created in the first place.”
Steven Beahan, Partner