Conservative MEP Vicky Ford has secured a key commitment from the proposed EU Commissioner for the single market - to put business before red tape in all her dealings.
Mrs Ford, MEP for East of England and chairman of the European Parliament's Internal Market Committee, gained the promise after demanding the new European Commissioner for the single market put business and the economy first in all new legislation. Polish Commissioner designate Elżbieta Bieńkowska pledged not to propose any new EU laws unless they would have a positive impact for businesses. She also promised that if any existing proposals for EU laws were found to be flawed then she would be prepared to scrap them.
Mrs Ford said: "The single market was meant to help companies trade easily across borders and thus reduce costs for consumers - but too often EU laws have just added more red tape and expensive bureaucracy. Mrs Bieńkowska has promised to be on the side of business, especially small business. I will hold her to that."
The promises were given by Mrs Bieńkowska, the former deputy Prime Minister of Poland, during a three hour grilling by over 80 MEPs at a hearing chaired by Mrs Ford. She asked the commissioner candidate for the two promises and received the firm response "yes and yes". Mrs Ford has described this as: "A record in clarity which I have never seen before from the Commission."
The questions and unambiguous responses prompted a flurry of supportive twitter messages from small-business organisations.