Today the UK government published the first six reports of its balance of competences review, launched in July 2012, which aims to provide a comprehensive audit of the impact of EU membership on the UK.
Fiona Hall MEP, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament, commented:
“This review should inject a welcome dose of realism into the current debate on Britain ‘s EU membership. Most importantly, it underlines that being an influential member of the EU single market is vital for jobs and growth in the UK .
“Tokyo has warned that Japanese investment, which supports 130,000 British jobs, depends on Britain playing a major role in the EU. This shows how EU membership underpins both our trade with Europe and with the rest of the world. Liberal Democrats are fighting for British jobs, ensuring that the UK remains at the heart of Europe and continues to attract vital foreign investment.”
Ms Hall added:
“Liberal Democrats have always been passionate about improving the EU. We have recently led the way in delivering a groundbreaking reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and cutting red tape for small businesses. We will now be looking at how this review can help us achieve further reforms to make the EU more competitive and accountable.
“However, we have made it clear that the balance of competences review should not be used to make a shopping list of powers to be repatriated back to the UK . The best way to deliver reform is by building alliances with our European partners, not alienating them by demanding unilateral carve-outs.”
Notes to Editors
The balance of competences review, launched in July 2012, aims to provide a comprehensive audit of what the EU does and how it affects the UK . The civil service review aims to provide objective, factual information, drawing on evidence from a wide variety of contributors both at home and abroad, and will help political parties to form their future policies on Europe. The first six reports focus on the single market, taxation, health, animal welfare development aid, and foreign policy. A further 26 reports are now due to published by the end of 2014. You can find more information about the review here.
The Japanese government’s contribution to the review can be found here.
Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies has played a leading role in the reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, including measures to reduce wasteful discarding, reduce micro-management from Brussels and ensure fishing is environmentally sustainable.