In its ongoing audit of EU competences, designed to scrutinise and inform prior to a referendum on British membership of the EU, the government today published three calls for public evidence this morning on financial services and the free movement of capital, the EU budget, agriculture and fundamental rights.
The calls, which appeal to private individuals, groups and businesses to inform the government on how EU laws have impacted the UK, come as part of the Balance of Competences Review. The review has already shown that EU rep tape costs British businesses billions of pounds a year, with firms telling the inquiry in July that they have paid more than £600m owing to 400 EU laws introduced over the past three years.
Launched by William Hague in July of last year as a "necessary and positive part of reforming Europe", the review looks at what the EU does in areas where it has conferred power to act, how that affects the UK and what it means for national interest. Further, it aims to assess whether the current balance of power between the EU and the UK is appropriate. Before its close in the Autumn of next year, the report will have published 32 different chapters ranging across the vast majority of policy areas.
The public calls for evidence will run for three months, from 21 October to 17 January of next year (13 January for feedback on agriculture and fundamental rights). Public and private groups and businesses are invited to get in touch, along with parliamentary and government groups.