Call to exempt firms from EU rules

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Millions of companies which do not export to Europe should be exempted from the most burdensome Brussels regulations, according to a new report by a business group campaigning for reform of the European Union.

Single market regulations cost UK businesses an estimated £7.5bn a year, but fewer than five per cent of companies actually 
export goods or services to other EU states, found the report by Business for Britain.

The report proposed a “British option”, under which the 95 per cent of UK companies which do not need access to the single market would not be required to comply with its rules. Meanwhile, its authors propose that the UK remains in the EU but withdraws from “political” aspects of the single market, and uses the money saved to open up a chain of trade missions to promote British exports around the rest of the world.

Business for Britain chief executive Matthew Elliott said that the “British option” would “at a stroke better position Britain in the global race” and could be extended to other EU nations if they chose to adopt it.