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New measures to ‘ensure EU legislation will not harm UK firms’


New measures to prevent British firms being unfairly restricted by European legislation have been announced by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable.


The proposals will end the so-called practice of ‘gold-plating’ to ensure that interpretations of European law will not put UK firms at a disadvantage.


‘I want British business to be a powerhouse for economic growth and among the most competitive in the world,’ said Cable. ‘The way we implement our EU obligations must foster, not hinder, UK growth by helping British businesses compete with their European neighbours.’


A statutory duty will also be placed on ministers to conduct a review of domestic legislation implementing a European directive every five years. The Government claims that this will allow businesses to influence any necessary improvements based on their own practical experience of applying the rules.


The plans are part of a wider policy by the Government to tackle EU regulation.


Cable added: ‘The new principles are a first step towards working with British business and Europe to make sure that we introduce EU rules in a way that will not harm the UK economy. By cutting red tape that can reduce competitiveness and making sure that businesses are involved in the process both before, and after through five-yearly reviews, we can get the best deal possible for Britain.’


However, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has criticised the move, arguing that it is a ‘depressing, dangerous and counter-productive policy’.