Cuts to Brussels red tape critical says minister

BUSINESS minister Michael Fallon issued a fresh warning over red tape coming out of Brussels yesterday.

The Tory MP told City A.M. that deregulation is “absolutely critical” if the UK’s small and medium sized businesses are going to grow, but that “people can see the weight of European legislation coming” and that it was important to flag these issues and to show firms the efforts the government is making.

“There is a lot of red tape in Brussels, and we, and 12 other member states are calling for the same kind of deregulation and cutting red tape targets in Brussels as we have developed here,” Fallon said.

His comments came at the opening of an expanded hub from data centre operator Telecity. The centre will house much of the IT equipment used by the UK’s fast-growing technology companies. Its expansion was described as “vital” by Fallon, but the centre was only built after years of applications for permission to expand the centre, a situation that Fallon said showed how “chronic our [planning] system is”.

“It’s just unacceptable, the planning system needs to adapt to the new economy. And it just isn’t suited to it,” Fallon added.

The government has pledged to save billions by slashing red tape, a move that was welcomed by business groups yesterday.

“We are beginning to see real progress,” the Federation of Small Businesses said.

“It is good to see that the EU measures due to come into force are also documented in new regulation, but for this to be of real use, the cost of these regulations also needs to be shown,” the group added.