EU Red Tape Challenge

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Today the government has published the EU Red Tape Challenge which tackles some of the issues we raised in our report Manufacturing: Our Future in Europe - Stronger Leadership, A Stronger Economy.

In particular, we called on the government to be more effective in working with other member states who want the EU to put competitiveness and growth at the heart of its work, to galvanise support for this agenda and push forward policies that will accelerate progress.

This is a crucial time to be making these arguments. Today there is a much greater prospect of creating a coalition for change. We are also at the early stage of recovery when businesses are starting to look at investing again but we have not yet got these investment intentions over the line. A serious plan for getting to grips with regulation can send an important signal to business that now is the right time to invest and that it should do it in Europe rather than in competing locations around the world.

The Eurozone crisis has forced many of its members to look harder at what they can do to improve the competitiveness of their economies. Reforming and reducing regulation is not the only answer but there are a number of important areas where we can make a start. It also helps to unlock investment in new technology, innovation and skills that will transform Europe's competitiveness.

But despite the changed mood in many member states, business has had to adjust to a growing number of costly and complex regulations and the pipeline of new measures also looks very full. Many of our members report how understanding and incorporating new legislation into business processes is eating into resources that should be spent on growing their businesses and creating new jobs.

All the more reason therefore for Britain to take the lead on this in Europe. We welcome the Prime Minister's actions in drawing the attention of his fellow European leaders to these issues. Now is the right time for him to lead change in Europe and help make it work better for growth.

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