1 December 2015

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has drawn attention to something that has been apparent for most of this year: the latest European Commission is producing far less legislation than its predecessors.

In fact, according to BIS, legislative proposals under the new Commission have fallen by 80%.

What is more, existing legislation is being removed — with more regulations set to be repealed this year than in the whole of the previous five-year Commission.

Now the UK Government wants the EU to go further by setting a new target to reduce burdens on business and it is not alone in this ambition: the proposal has the backing of a group of EU Member States, including Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and Spain.

The 18 States have written to Commissioner Frans Timmermans, welcoming the more strategic approach taken by the Commission towards cutting business red tape, as demonstrated, they say, by the focus of the recently-published Commission 2016 Work Programme on competitiveness.

The letter goes on to say: "We must build on the momentum for change in our regulatory culture and ensure that progress is never rolled back. It must nourish entrepreneurship and innovation, and provide for the future prosperity of all our citizens."

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said that the adoption of a target to reduce business burdens would be the most recent UK-driven step towards greater EU competitiveness, adding to recent successes such as the commitment to abolish roaming charges as of June 2017.