Cameron Takes U.K. Businesses to Brussels in Bid to Cut Red Tape

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is taking British business leaders to Brussels to meet some of his European Union counterparts as companies called for the bloc’s regulations to be simplified.

Cameron organised a meeting at the EU summit in Brussels, which starts today, for businesses to explain their proposals for cutting red tape to leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. A letter sent to leaders before the meeting and signed by 80 businesses across Europe called for regulation to be relaxed as current rules create “excessive and unnecessary burdens” preventing job creation and growth.

“One of the greatest obstacles is problematic, poorly understood and burdensome European rules that all too often encumber business,” the group said in the letter. “It’s vital therefore that any EU regulation necessary for the single market is pro-growth and pro-innovation, enabling not hampering businesses to create jobs and pave the way toward economic recovery.”

The call to reduce business regulation is part of Cameron’s attempt to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU before his pledged referendum in 2017 on whether to stay in the union.

It follows a U.K. government-commissioned report last week put together by six business leaders including Marks & Spencer Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Marc Bolland that included recommendations with the potential to “save EU businesses billions of euros,” according to the letter.

“The red tape they’re currently throttled with we’re dealing with at every level,” Cameron told lawmakers in London yesterday. He said that included this week’s EU summit “where I’ve organized a meeting for our businesses to explain their proposals for cutting red tape to fellow European leaders from Finland, from Italy, from Germany and elsewhere.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at sodonnell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net

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