CBI censures Europe for failing to cut red tape

In its submission to the Convention, the Confederation of British Industry argues that the Union has generally failed to deliver on its promise to cut red tape.

In its submission on 9 December, CBI said it believed that company frustration was mounting across the UK over the lack of progress on free-market change in the EU. CBI said that it is worrying to see how little progress has been made towards the objective agreed at the Lisbon summit to deliver "the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010". CBI is urging the British government to tackle issues concerning the economy and jobs at the Copenhagen summit this week.

According to CBI Deputy Director-General John Cridland, "since the Lisbon summit we have seen a raft of inappropriate measures that have damaged British business and the reputation of the EU. We need the Convention to help speed up the painfully slow progress on the pro-business single market agenda".

CBI, Britain's main employers' body, is opposed to:

  • the idea that EU enlargement should lead to significant extension of qualified majority voting (QMV), arguing that tax and social policy should remain subject to unanimity;
  • the incorporation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Treaty, as this could give the EU authority over issues like the right to strike;
  • tax harmonization, as tax competition is necessary to keep burdens low. CBI believes that forcing countries to adopt the same taxation rules would damage business.

However, CBI's business leaders emphasised that their criticism did not indicate hostility to the EU.


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