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Call for Evidence on the Government’s Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union

15 November 2012 14:15

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The first call for evidence asking business groups, stakeholders and others to submit their views on how the single market works and impacts on the UK was announced today by Business Secretary Vince Cable

The call for evidence is part of the Government review of the balance of competences between the UK and EU which was announced by the Foreign Secretary in July this year. The review is an audit of how EU law and its operation and enforcement affect the UK and is intended to develop a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the functioning of the single market.

In a speech at Chatham House later today, Business Secretary Vince Cable will say:

“I have no doubts about the benefits that the Single Market has brought to the UK over the past twenty years. Nor do I doubt its potential to continue driving growth in future.

“The debate about the Single Market, like the wider debate about the EU, must be based on thorough analysis, not emotion.

“The Balance of Competence Review will allow us to do just this. We aim to develop a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the functioning of the single market, using the evidence that we receive over the coming weeks.”

The report will cover the overall application and effect of the EU Internal Market. The result of the report will be a comprehensive analysis of how the “Four Freedoms” operate together and ultimately what this means for the UK. It will aid our understanding of the nature of our EU membership; and it will provide a constructive and serious contribution to the wider European debate about modernising, reforming and improving the EU.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the review is asked to send their views before 28 February 2013. A report on the outcome of the review will be published in Summer 2013.

Note to editors

1. Evidence should be sent to balanceofcompetences@bis.gsi.gov.uk . Evidence can also be submitted on line at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/internalmarket

2. The Foreign Secretary launched the Balance of Competences Review in Parliament on 12 July 2012, taking forward the Coalition commitment to examine the balance of competences between the UK and the European Union. The review will produce a series of reports on specific areas of EU competence, spread over four semesters between autumn 2012 and autumn 2014 and will provide an analysis of what the UK’s membership of the EU means for the UK national interest. It will not be tasked with producing specific recommendations and will not prejudge future policy or look at alternative models for Britain’s overall relationship with the EU. Full details of the programme as a whole can be found on the FCO website, http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/european-union/balance-of-competences-review/.

3. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries'. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

- To create the most competitive tax system in the G20

- To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business

- To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy

- To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.

4. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

Contact Information

BIS Press Office
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BIS Press Office
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Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
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bispress.releases@bis.gov.uk
Sandra White
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Sandra White
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Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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020 7215 5937
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sandra.white@bis.gsi.gov.uk