Michael Fallon: Brussels must cut red tape

The Tory politician, who took over from Mark Prisk at the Department of Business in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, is planning to call for the change when he travels to Brussels on Thursday for the first time in his new role, reports The Telegraph.

The policy is designed to ensure that the cost to business of a new regulation is cancelled out by the amount saved in scrapping an existing one.

Mr Fallon has made the fight against red tape a key objective since his appointment. One of his first moves was to announce a “scrap as you go” policy aimed at removing, or substantially reducing, 3,000 regulations by the end of next year.

“I’m relighting the bonfire [of regulations],” he told The Telegraph two weeks ago. “The current ‘one in, one out’ rule only limits new regulation. But there’s far too much existing regulation: pointless annual checks, box-ticking that small firms have to pay consultants for, repetitive checking of certificates, and more.”

Businesses have mixed views on the Coalition’s efforts to curb red tape but most report that Brussels is the bigger offender.

Mr Fallon, 60, who served in the governments of both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, said the Coalition had not done enough to help businesses and foster economic growth. “We’ve got to accelerate and scale up,” he said.