There was a lot of nonsense in the EP election campaign about the EU being responsible for 80% of UK legislation, which I have already dealt with elsewhere on this blog. Even there, I suggested that if we were getting up into big numbers, it would only be in certain areas, such as business and environment and certainly not all legislation.
And then comes the British Chamber of Commerce’s Report World’s Apart: the EU and British Regulatory Systems of May 2009 which says in its executive summary:
In terms of the number of regulations, the EU this year accounted for only 20%. The reduction from the previous EU level of about 30% is the primary reason for the overall decline in 2007/8. By value, EU legislation was only responsible for about £1.9m net costs to business (0.1%). It would appear that, for this year, virtually all regulatory activity can be attributed to Whitehall. With a developing single market, business regulation should be needed for the EU as a whole or not at all. UK regulations that are additional to those enacted across the EU reduce business competitiveness.
So not only does EU regulation have much less of an impact on business than some would like to believe, we are doing better at reducing that regulation.
Of course, the document isn’t all glowing about the EU and it make some very cogent points about the process of impact assessment, and how ours could be better linked with national ones and vice versa. But nonetheless, it does shine a light on how things are rather than how some would like to believe them to be.