VICKY Ford, Conservative MEP for the East of England, is urging small and medium sized businesses to speak out against over-regulation from the European Union.

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She wants businesses to take part in a consultation to find the “top 10 most burdensome legislative acts for small and medium sized enterprises, and he consultation will run until December 21.

Once complete, the European Commission will analyse the results and consider how the situation for SMEs could be improved. Areas covered in the consultation include services, customs, employment and social affairs, energy, product safety, environment and taxation, and the survey is open to all small and medium sized enterprises, as well as organisations representing the interests of SMEs.

Mrs Ford said: “I’m aware that small businesses often find the burden of bureaucracy and red tape overwhelming. Last year I contacted over 9000 micro-businesses across the East of England, giving them advice on how to seek assistance on a number of matters.

“ I received a great number of responses from companies who asked me to urge the European Commission to look at reducing the burden of legislation on smaller companies.

“ The European Commission has finally agreed to carry out this consultation, which I hope can be a first step in the right direction, but only if they get honest feedback from businesses. I would urge companies to take part and get their voices heard. Furthermore, if you are involved in a small business and have a specific problem with any individual EU law then do let me know as well.”

Companies can take part in the online consultation by visiting http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/public-consultation-new/index_en.htm

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