Red tape ‘costs €1 trillion’

Red tape has cost European businesses a cumulative 1 trillion (£0.87 trillion) over the past 11 years, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

A study by Eurochambres, the representative body for chambers of commerce across the continent, claims that this is the amount firms have been forced to spend to comply with European Union (EU) regulations and their associated reporting requirements.

In addition, the research suggests that the annual cost of meeting these obligations accounts for more than 12 per cent of EU gross domestic product.

Co-author Francis Chittenden, professor at Manchester Business School, comments: ‘EU regulations are largely driven by political considerations with inadequate assessment of the impacts on business and the economy.’

David Frost, director general of the BCC, adds that the report shows the ‘EU needs to get serious about reducing the massive burden of regulation on business’.

He also claims that cutting the unnecessary burdens created by red tape and delaying new employment laws would be an instant and inexpensive way to support struggling firms.

The BCC workforce survey, published last month, revealed that the UK’s smallest businesses believe complying with employment regulations is their major challenge, with 47 per cent saying it causes them difficulties.

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