By Daniel Hunter

The government’s business-led taskforce on EU regulation has today (Thursday) asked UK firms to help identify where action is most needed to roll back EU red tape.

The six business leaders were appointed by the Prime Minister last month as part of the government’s drive to cut bureaucracy and promote growth. The group is chaired by Business Minister Michael Fallon, and met for the first time at Downing Street today.

The taskforce wants businesses of all sizes and sectors to submit evidence of where European rules and regulations create unnecessary barriers to competitiveness, including EU barriers to:

- Starting a business
- Innovation: including developing, patenting and marketing new products and services
- Business expansion
- Exporting
- Recruiting and hiring staff
- Overall competitiveness and day-to-day operations

It will focus in particular on regulations pertaining to employment, chemicals, food safety and hygiene, the digital economy and life sciences. The group is particularly keen to engage with small companies throughout the supply chain.

“EU red tape can still make it too difficult to start a business, develop a new product or export. Our ambitions for growth demand decisive action to clear away the rules that impose the biggest burdens on hard-pressed firms. Business must be in the driving seat of this process," Business Minister Michael Fallon said.

“The members of our task force have great expertise in running and growing businesses, creating jobs and generating wealth. This wider call for evidence will strengthen the impact of its work and help us tackle the issues that concern firms of every size, from every part of the UK and in Europe, and at every stage of development.”

On June 28 the Prime Minister named the six business leaders who will work with the government to identify the European rules and regulations that need abolition or reform to help British companies grow. They are:

- Marc Bolland, Chief Executive M&S
- Ian Cheshire, CEO Kingfisher
- Glenn Cooper, Managing Director, ATG Access
- Louise Makin, CEO BTG
- Dale Murray CBE, Angel Investor 2011 and BIS Non-Executive Director.
- Paul Walsh, Chairman, Compass Group

The panel will report in September 2013, and will set out concrete proposals for reform to European rules, regulations and practices that have the most impact on British business. The Taskforce will also consider the potential for wider reforms at EU level, including examining ways in which businesses can influence and shape EU regulatory process at an earlier stage.

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