Saturday, 7 February 2009

A decade of EU regulations has cost the UK £107 billion

It is ten years since the UK Government introduced a system of regulatory Impact Assessments, in an effort to get a grip on the flow of new regulations. Analysing more than 2,000 of these Impact Assessments, Open Europe found that regulations introduced between 1998 and 2008 have cost the UK economy £148.2 billion.

Of the cumulative cost of regulations introduced over the past decade, £106.6 billion, or nearly 72%, had its origin in EU legislation.

EU regulations introduced since 1998 have therefore cost the UK economy almost £107 billion - far more than the UK's total gross contributions to the EU budget over the same period.

Moreover, the study finds that the cost of regulation is going up all the time. Since the UK Government launched its 'Regulatory Reform Agenda' in 2005, the annual cost of regulation in Britain has gone from £16.5 billion in 2005 to £28.7 billion in 2008 - an enormous increase of 74%.

The report argues that despite some genuine attempts at reform, the Government has simply lost control. With 72% of the cost of regulation stemming from laws negotiated in Brussels, efforts to cut red tape are doomed to fail unless they target EU regulations.

Open Europe argues that the UK Government needs a tough new approach to negotiations in the EU. A good place to start would be refusing to accept an end to the UK's opt-out from the 48-hour week, currently under negotiation. To read the full report, please click here.

If you wanted any more reasons to leave the EU visit Britain Not Brussels