Wednesday, 8 May 2013

£30bn a year better off out

The latest CIVITAS paper estimates the benefits of withdrawal from the EU at around £30bn a year. Of this, it estimates the saving in the cost of regulation at about £20bn. As heavyweights such as Lord Lawson start to get behind the figures, we can expect a strong counter-reaction from those firms who benefit most from regulation - the large corporations.

Take the food allergen labelling regulations. A small high street baker, you're adding a fruit cake to your range. It will take you three hours to make and bake two dozen fruit cakes - but thirty hours to find, research, correspond, query and prepare legal food labels to stick onto the packaging. The Allergen Labelling Regulations, for example, compel you to declare any traces of Celery, Cereals containing gluten, Crustaceans, Eggs, Fish, Lupin, Milk (including Lactose), Molluscs, Mustard, Nuts, Peanuts, Sesame seeds, Soybeans or Sulphur Dioxide.

Of course Megapolis Foods and their ten-acre cake factory has no problem complying with all these regulations; they have an entire department for it. They even pay a lobbying firm in Brussels to persuade MEPs and the Commission's officials that even more regulations are needed. If you bake a million cakes a year the overhead costs of regulation are small; if you only bake 500 they're horrendous. 

The incestuous links between the large corporations and Brussels go much further than this. Brussels regularly uses taxes raised from EU nations to stuff the mouths of the big corporations with gold; just take a look at the UK recipients of the EU grants programme HERE to see who will be opposing any withdrawal from the EU. It won't be Britain's small firms and SMEs, the economic powerhouse of growth and the sector most likely to retain economic benefit in the UK. 

During 2011 big corporations shared an EU bribe pot of €4,509,352,492.66. So when you see the Chairman of Global Foods plc on the TV opposing EU withdrawal, check the database to see how much tax money he's had before you believe him.   


Barnacle Bill said...

Now the EU is even extending it's rules and regulations into our very own gardens -

Anonymous said...

I took a look at that list and I also noticed a good number of educational institutions there...

...Presumably 't EU needs lots of places to "educate" and "groom" up and coming "Monnet" students.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Phillips foster the absurd banning of incandescent lamps - for their own diabolical reasons.

Raedwald said...

Anon - Yes; Philips and Osram were instrumental in promoting the ban, given the much higher profit margins on the 'low energy' alternatives - see Der Spiegel's write up at

G. Tingey said...

AH, again, someone has noticed the corporat fascism of the whole enterprise.

Yes, so "farmers" can use a fungicide THAT TURNS TO FERTILISER AFTER 2-3 DAYS, but allotment holders can't.
And then get blamed for "spreading blight"
Yes, it has happened.
Stinks, doesn't it?

Don't get me started on Mercury-containg low-energy light bulbs, either - as a physicist/engineer I can see it's a load of corrupt lies, too!

Anonymous said...

Physiscist/engineer and a legend in your own lunchtime.

Edward Spalton said...

I can confirm the main thrust of your article - the fondness of large firms for complicated regulation that raises the bar against competition.

I worked in a family business in the animal feed trade and my main contacts were with other similar firms, ranging from small ones like ours to substantial regional enterprises - all generally lumped together as "country" millers and merchants.

A chap I knew joined one of the multinationals and I met him again after many months. We discussed how things were going and I complained about regulation, mostly originating from the Great Satan in Brussels.

"We like it, Edward" he said "We have a department which deals with all that. It takes our smaller competitors minds off their customers and makes them work longer hours. They get sick of it and shut down or sell up, leaving the field to us".

Our trade association was no help. They became a cheer leader for HMG (the agent of Brussels from1 Jan 1973), urging us all to compliance with requirements of very little benefit to anyone except people like my colleague (above) and the bureaucrats. But they had recruited the Director general from what was then the Ministry of Agriculture. It became, in effect, part of the para state.

cuffleyburgers said...

The point about the EU corporatism is too seldom made in the media (never on the BBC for instance) but when the day comes it will be a linchpin of the OUT argument.

All the main parties in this country are irredeemably corporatist as are the unions and the mass media therefore it is essential that this point be made forcefully at every opportunity.

Anthem said...

This kind of thing really depresses me.

I'm a strong advocate of capitalism and whilst this comes under the umbrella of "crony capitalism", the general public won't see it that way.

Sometimes I despair. It feels like you're fighting the state but also fighting the people you're fighting for.

The sad thing is that if you're making 1 million cakes then economies of scale will surely mean that you're able to produce cakes more cheaply than the small baker who makes 500.

The big corporations don't even need the regulations to strengthen their position.

It's all so fecked up but as a start, I would love to see less regulation and a seperation of government and business to the greatest possible degree (prefereably complete seperation).