The entire contribution from Mr Bill Cash MP is linked to Hansard from here
. The two passages I have chosen to quote are these:
The fact is that employment regulations, the working time directive, paternity and maternity leaves and so forth have reached a point at which—in aggregate; I do not refer to any individual measure—they have strangled the small and medium-sized business environment of Europe which, in the real world, must compete with the Indias, the Chinas and the South Americas.
For practical purposes, we in this country must recognise that growth will come only from the generation of small and medium-sized businesses and a reduction in legislation. Yes, there is massive youth unemployment in other countries, but we cannot grow within a European Union which itself represents about 40% of our trade with those countries, and they cannot grow because they themselves were inhibited by the strangulation of small businesses, and also by the increase in legislation. As Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, I can assure the House that there is no stopping that; every week we are given pile after pile of it.
In 2005, the current Prime Minister described it as an imperative necessity to repatriate powers. On 16 May 2006, I proposed an amendment to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill that, notwithstanding the European Communities Act 1972, would have enabled us to override European legislation where necessary. Some 50 current Government Ministers—Conservative Ministers—supported my amendment. It was then “three-lined” in the House of Lords, and it was opposed by the current Deputy Prime Minister and the Lib Dems. No repatriation of powers is a suicide note for the British nation. That is the message. We have to deregulate; we have to give oxygen to the SMEs. That is in the national interest.