The Institute of Directors today welcomed George Osborne’s speech to business leaders in Berlin, in which he emphasised the vision, shared between Britain and Germany, of an open and competitive European economy. Simon Walker, Director General of the IoD, said:
“It was welcome to see more meat on the bones of the Government’s EU reform plan. Our members will be pleased to see the Chancellor’s desire not just to slow down the flow of new regulations coming from Brussels, but also to tackle the existing stock of red tape. Reducing unnecessary EU regulation is IoD members’ top reform priority.
“We hope that other EU leaders were paying attention to the speech and will listen to the Chancellor’s conviction that ever closer union is not the right direction for the UK. Our members value access to the single market, and want to see it completed to create a true level playing field for their services, but businesses do not want the UK to take part in further political integration.
“As the Eurozone takes the steps it needs to build a stronger currency union, the Chancellor is right to insist on protections for the UK and other EU members who are not part of the single currency. This is an important part of the Government’s negotiations, but it is not the only part. The overriding aim must be to secure reforms which make the whole of the EU more competitive, benefitting companies of all sizes, even those which don’t export.”
IoD members’ views of the European Union and their priorities for reform can be found in our recent report, The UK’s relationship with the European Union.