A TOP businessman from the city has said that regulation from the European Union is damaging business.
Alan Halsall, chairman of the Silver Cross prams manufactuers in the city, told the YEP that red tape from Brussels was impacting on his firm’s prospects and called for an opt-out of certain rulings to be instituted.
The news comes on the day that the chancellor of the exchequor George Osborne raised the prospect of Britain leaving the EU if the 28-nation bloc fails to undertake fundamental reforms to improve competitiveness, create jobs and protect the rights of countries which are not in the single currency.
Mr Halsall said: “The company of which I am the chairman – Silver Cross – exports a lot of goods to south-east Asia, and I am happy to make sure that my goods meet those countries’ product standards.
“But it would be crazy to think that a small pram company in the UK should also meet those standards if they were only selling to Leeds.
“We only expect companies who export to Japan to comply with Tokyo’s regulatory requirements, so why do we expect every UK company to comply with Brussels’ rules.
“There is plenty of top-quality research that has shown that regulations and bureaucracy emerging from Brussels are damaging British firms and holding many companies back as they strive to tap the fast-growing markets in places like South America and East Asia. The British Option would kick-start an important debate about what rules we want and those we don’t.
“Should the Workers Time Directive, which layers costs onto small firms, apply to all British businesses? “What about crazy new EU data protection rules that demand that certain firms hire a data protection officer? At the moment we have no choice but to accept these rules.”