Business group: £12bn has been lost by EU treaty

THE LISBON treaty has racked up a £12.2bn bill for UK businesses since it was ratified by the European Union in late 2009, according to new research released this morning.

Campaign group Business for Britain also says that regulatory effects from the major EU agreement will cost firms £6.1bn each year from now on. The group used government impact assessments of the changes brought in by the treaty to estimate the cost. The research adds that the final cost to businesses will run to £96.5bn, nearly eight times the cost so far.

“The Lisbon Treaty was hugely unpopular at the time, and we can now see that it has increased the cost of doing business in Britain,” said Matthew Elliott, Business for Britain’s chief executive. The group is campaigning for provisions of the treaty to be overturned in negotiations with the EU.

But Alisdair McIntosh, director of pro-EU campaign group Business for New Europe criticised the estimates: “There is also no mention of the enormous benefit to exporting businesses of having a single set of rules across the EU, applicable to each of the 28 EU members.”