EEF head to challenge new MEPs to back EU reform

Posted on 22 Jul 2014 by Callum Bentley

The UK should continue to press for reform of the EU while backing the case for Britain’s membership, the head of EEF, will tell newly-elected MEPs at a reception in Brussels this evening.

Speaking at an EEF reception for MEPs at the British Ambassador’s residence in Brussels, Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, is expected to tell MEPs from all parties that a revised focus on industry is the key to the EU’s long-term economic success

In his speech Mr Scuoler will highlight the “new mood” in Brussels “in favour of change and reform.”

He will tell Britain’s MEPs: “We need your help to ensure that regulation – where it is necessary – is fit for purpose and that it is not simply another burden on business. We would like to see all new legislation subject to a compulsory competitiveness test.”

He will also say that there is a clear mandate from manufacturing industry to support Britain’s continued membership of the EU. “My members – who include large multinational businesses, as well as small and medium sized businesses across Britain – have given me a clear mandate to support our continued membership of the EU, for the long-term. They do not want Britain to leave.”

Mr Scuoler, who is also chairman of Ceemet, the European industry association representing 200,000 companies across the EU, is expected to add: “We do want to see constructive discussions about reform. We would like to see the anti-EU rhetoric move on to a more realistic discussion about the economic benefits of our membership.”

The newly-promoted Minister for Business, Energy and Enterprise, Matthew Hancock MP, is expected to address the EEF reception.

Matthew Hancock said: “The EU must reform to make it easier for manufacturers to succeed, grow and create jobs. I will work with MEPs, governments and business groups like EEF to make sure there’s no let-up in tackling EU red tape.”