Actions Speak Louder Than Words Mr Blair

Prime Minister urged to lead by example in bid to slash national red tape

Brussels, March 5 2007 — Labour has been quick to lecture others and slow to act when it comes to cutting the red tape that binds businesses.

Last month in Brussels industry ministers rejected binding EU targets to cut national bureaucracy. The UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark spoke in favour, but most other delegations were against fixed goals.

With the European Commission’s ‘Better Regulation’ initiative high on the agenda for the Spring Summit on Thursday and Friday, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative deputy leader in the European Parliament, urged Tony Blair to practice what he preaches and make a real commitment to deliver.

He said: “Many people in the UK think that the European Commission is responsible for so much of the red tape burdening business: the reality is that it is the Commission that is trying to reduce it. When EU laws replace different sets of national laws, the administrative burden should be simplified - unless those countries keep some of their national legislation at the same time.

“An even bigger problem is that too many Member States have been “gold-plating” EU legislation when transposing it into national law - and with our growing army of bureaucrats in the UK, we are one of the worst offenders. Instead of our Government lecturing others to be more flexible, it is time we led by example.

Top ↑