By Claire West

Ahead of the closure of the European Commission’s consultation on the Single Market Act - a series of measures to renew the Single Market in an effort to boost economic growth and job creation - the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is calling for the Commission to recognise the critical role that business will play in creating a fully functional single market.

The BCC believes that the Single Market Act is vital to sustain and enhance European economies. The Act must tear down the barriers that prevent businesses from trading across Europe, allowing them to grow and create much-needed jobs.

In its submission, the BCC calls on the Commission to focus on those proposals that will foster high-growth sectors. For example:

• Services: in the UK alone, a single market in Services could boost UK GDP by £4bn to £6bn per annum;
• Digital: the European Commission has calculated that failure to establish a digital single market could cost the EU 4.1% of EU GDP by 2020;
• Energy: worth 5% of EU GDP.

Commenting on the Single Market Act, Kieran O’Keeffe, Head of EU representation at the BCC, said:

“Europe doesn’t have the luxury of time. European economies are still extremely fragile and in growth terms lagging significantly behind emerging markets like India and China. We need to give private sector growth a major shot in the arm, and the Single Market is the only card that Europe’s political leaders have to play. This means that the final Single Market Act needs to have a laser-beam focus on driving growth.

“British business expects the Commission to demonstrate purpose and vision by prioritising those initiatives, out of an original fifty, that will free businesses to trade across the EU with ease. We applaud Commissioner Barnier’s leadership by proposing a Single Market Act that contains many of the right ingredients for a successful re-launch, but now we need Europe to find its focus, or risk sidelining European economies for the foreseeable future”.