Not all legislation is burdensome to business and sometimes enviromental, social, public health and health & safety concerns over-ride business’ sole concern with profit-maximisation. Individual companies strive to internalise profits and externanlise cost. Legislators legitimately concerned with the common good and the broader public interest strive to get business to re-internalise some of this externalised cost. ‘Polluter Pays Principle’, employers’ contribution to employees’ social security and corporation tax; to name but three instances where this is the case.

Richard Corbett concisely argues in ‘Why EU rules can be a good thing for Britain’ why adding up the cost of EU regulation to the UK economy is nonsencical and if used as a measure to guide public policy outright dangerous. Furthermore, it does not take into consideration the benefits to business of replacing a multitude of rules in all the member-states by one set of rules for the Single European Market. Neither does it account for the overall benefits of EU membership to its members’ economies.


Richard Corbett is a former Labour MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, a former LME chair and is now a member of Herman Van Rompuy’s cabinet