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Open Europe says Tory regulatory policy must focus on EU red tape

Screen shot 2010-03-30 at 10.06.23 A new report from Open Europe, reported in today's FT, warns that 72% of the costs associated with regulation are coming from the EU.

Here are the key findings:

  • Regulation has cost the UK economy £176 billion since 1998. Of this amount, £124 billion, or 71%, had its origin in EU legislation.
  • The annual cost of regulation in 2009 stands at £32.8 billion.
  • We estimate the benefit/cost ratio of EU regulations at 1.02, while the ratio of UK regulations is 2.35. In other words, for every £1 of cost, EU regulations introduced since 1998 have only delivered £1.02 of benefits, meaning that it is 2.5 times more cost effective to regulate nationally than it is to regulate via the EU.

On the Conservatives, Open Europe declares:

"The Conservatives have proposed a series of fresh regulatory reforms that are innovative and could cut the cost of regulation. However, the Conservatives have chosen to focus their regulatory reform agenda almost exclusively at the domestic level. This, in turn, could lead to contradictory or undeliverable policies since a potential future Conservative government will only on average have full control over 28% of annual the cost of regulation. The Conservative Party needs to make it a priority to set out how they intend to apply their domestic reform proposals to the EU decision-making process."

The report - which you can read in full here - sets out thirty ways to cut red tape.


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