Justice Secretary Chris Grayling condemns 'mad' EU red tape

 

A Tory Cabinet minister has hit out at “mad” Brussels red tape, warning that it will end up costing British jobs.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling accused EU policy-makers of being oblivious to the scale of the economic challenge from China and other global rivals.

“It's become obvious that many senior people in Brussels are simply not living in the real world,” Mr Grayling said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. “They are caught up in a dogma that says the solution to every problem is more European regulation.”

The critical comments are the latest by a senior Conservative Eurosceptic, after Cabinet colleagues Michael Gove and Philip Hammond both indicated that they would currently vote to leave the EU in a referendum.

Those interventions provoked irritation in Downing Street - but Mr Grayling is unlikely to face a rebuke as he focused his fire on unelected commissioners.

The minister was discussing the long-running row over moves by Brussels to reform data protection laws.

Critics of the plans, including Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium, warn small and medium-sized businesses suffer through having to monitor, track and manage the data they hold.

A government impact assessment of the proposals reportedly suggested businesses in the UK would face extra costs of around £360 million a year.

Mr Grayling said: “This is a prime example of European legislation which will evidently have an impact on the competitiveness of Europe and will impact on employment in Europe at a time when we have really very serious levels of unemployment in the EU.

“They all too often seem completely oblivious to the potential consequences of what they are doing. Britain and Europe are in a global race. We face intense competition from around the world. UK and EU business are fighting through difficult times to be able to keep up employment levels and win business around the world.

“If the EU keeps on trying to produce more and more complex laws that put more and more costs on to business, it's just going to cost jobs, and that would be mad.

“The people bringing forward proposals at the moment seem to have little idea of the reality of the political and democratic challenges.”

Mr Grayling said the commission's bid to force the UK to give EU migrants more rights to benefits - which the Government has promised to fight - was another “prime example” of how Brussels is “more and more divorced from the political challenges member states face”.

Amid a rising threat from the UK Independence Party (Ukip), Mr Grayling invoked Europe as a reason to vote Conservative.

“We can't let Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, the political heirs of Gordon Brown, the man who signed the disastrous Lisbon Treaty, back into Downing Street,” he said.

“They would pursue the same strategy of supporting more and more 'Europeanisation' of our laws.”

Some Tories are said to be planning a series of international “summits” attended by politicians, business leaders and lawyers from across the EU to discuss how it could be reformed and powers repatriated.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has over 40 years ...

Recruitment Genius: Weekend Factory Operatives

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This high quality thread manufacturer is curr...

Recruitment Genius: FP&A Analyst

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A market leading acquirer and m...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fully qualified electricians re...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific