Wednesday 16 July 2014
New Foreign Secretary must go into battle for London business
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on new Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to robustly enhance and protect British business interests as the European Union (EU) decides its new priorities.
LCCI's new report "London and the EU" concluded business interests are best served by EU membership - but only as part of a recalibrated EU firmly focused on competition, trade and enterprise.
The report urges UK political parties to initiate an ongoing dialogue with London's business sector to shape the "British engagement" with the EU at all levels: Parliament, Commission and Council:
- To counter perceptions of inconsistency, the European Parliament should investigate Commission enforcement of EU directives to ensure a level playing field across all member states.
- To ease the regulatory burden on SMEs (small & medium-sized enterprises) the European Commission should make the 'SME Test' a mandatory requirement for legislative impact assessments.
- To secure economic growth, increased employment & greater prosperity, the European Council should prioritise international trade deals and finalise the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Commenting on the announcement of the new Foreign Secretary, Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of LCCI, said: "Our new report suggests a recalibrated EU would deliver many benefits for London businesses. A strong focus on trade, enterprise and competition will bring economic growth, increased employment and prosperity to London and the other EU capitals.
"Philip Hammond has a duty to promote British membership of the EU - but the EU has to remain relevant to Britain. It's imperative Mr Hammond steps up, along with other party counterparts, to ensure that London businesses are effectively represented in Brussels."
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
- London Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies through to SMEs and sole traders.
- The full report can be downloaded from - http://www.londonchamber.co.uk/DocImages/12552.pdf
- Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.