PM must champion competitiveness at EU Council

Posted on 24 Oct 2013 by Tim Brown

Britain’s manufacturers are calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to lead his European partners in focusing on growth and support for business at today’s EU Council meeting.

Making the call, EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, believes that now is the right time to work with a growing number of like-minded countries that share the vision of creating a more competitive, outward-looking Europe .

“Industry is sending a strong message to Europe’s leaders that we need action on growth and competitiveness at today’s Council meeting,” said, EEF Chief Executive, Terry Scuoler. “The penny has dropped across Europe that excessive red tape is shackling growth. Now is the time for the Prime Minister to lead the debate in Europe and build a coalition for change to galvanise its members to work together for growth.

“This should start with the actions on Red Tape identified by the Business Taskforce but it needs to go further and accelerate action to boost innovation, trade and complete the single market. The Prime Minister has set out his vision and he now has the perfect opportunity to show the leadership to get Europe’s leaders pushing forward policies that put competitiveness and growth at the heart of its work.”

Last week EEF published its report on Britain’s membership of the EU, Manufacturing: Our Future in Europe, which set out strong support from Britain’s manufacturers for continued membership of the EU. It said that the UK’s challenge is to improve its engagement and leadership in the EU and focus on the size of the economic prize, in the shape of multi-billion-pound existing and future trade deals.

Manufacturers fear that despite initiatives in London and Brussels to tackle excessive and badly thought out legislation, the pipeline of measures that could add further burdens on industry remains full to capacity and must be closely monitored and challenged.