CBI chief accuses dozy MPs of failing to scrutinise EU laws

The
CBI has accused MPs of being asleep on the job as they fail to adequately
scrutinise European legislation.

Digby
Jones, CBI director general, has called for a package of parliamentary reforms
to increase national influence over the European Commission, which now makes
more than half the laws affecting UK firms.

The
CBI’s comments come in a paper prepared by its influential Europe Committee.

"When
it comes to EU legislation, UK MPs have been asleep on the job," said
Jones. "That is not acceptable for our country since more than half the
laws affecting UK companies, and the jobs of millions, come from the European
Commission.”

"Westminster
never seems tuned into what Brussels or Whitehall are doing,” he said. “We have
the most successful economy in Europe. We do not want it damaged by regulations
from Brussels that belong to a bygone era.”

The
CBI paper calls for opportunities for interest groups to make timely
representations to MPs on EU legislation. It says the CBI lobbies commissioners
and MEPs directly, but has few opportunities to lobby Westminster at a stage
that might influence the outcome.

The
employers’ body also wants an early-warning system so MPs and interest groups
can react speedily to European Commission proposals.

By Michael Millar

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