MPs note 'slip' on EC action

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Indy Politics
BRITAIN slipped to seventh place in the EC league table for implementation of single market directives last year, writes Anthony Bevins.

The Commons Trade and Industry Select Committee reported yesterday: 'Until recent ly the UK had a good record of implementation, being usually second or third . . . In 1992, the UK slipped to seventh, although by February 1993 it had recovered to third with an implementation rate of 85 per cent.'

But at the end of last year, the Danes had implemented 165 measures, a rate of 89 per cent, followed by France (152), Portugal (147), Netherlands (142), Spain (143), Greece (140), Ireland and the UK (138), Germany (137), Luxembourg and Italy (131), and Belgium (129).

The MPs noted that of the 194 directives requiring implementation, only 79 had been enacted by each of the member states.

They said league tables were not just a matter of national pride. 'As the Institute of Trading Standards told us, 'the first essential step in ensuring fair competition as a cornerstone of the single market is to ensure that directives are implemented uniformly and on time'.'

Trade with Europe; Trade and Industry Committee, Second Report, Session 1992-93, Commons paper 216; HMSO; pounds 12.15.