Always keen to talk about her work as a West Midlands Conservative MEP, Anthea McIntyre was the guest at a lunch in Defford, Worcestershire.
Miss McIntyre, who took her seat in the European Parliament in December 2011, is the Conservative’s Employment spokesman in Europe – a role that has seen her constantly campaigning against unnecessary additional burdens being imposed on businesses.
“Before becoming an MEP I had run a successful small business for a number of years and knew from my own experience that creating and sustaining a business and the jobs that follow is tough. It is easy for a bureaucrat to have a ‘good idea’ that actually ends up increasing costs, reducing flexibility and ultimately destroying jobs.”
“Let there be no mistake – I am not advocating a wholesale abolition of all regulation but it is vital that the full impact on businesses are taken in to account before any extra burden is imposed.
“Most businesses are small - they employ less than 10 people – yet they have to comply with the same massive weight of regulation as a huge multi-national company, a company that can afford to employ either their own staff or external specialists to read through, digest and implement every regulation. Small business owners, and especially the self-employed, simply don’t have those resources.
“It is this reflection of reality that I have been forcing the EU Employment Committee to face with some success. There is now agreement that the specific impacts of any proposed regulation on micro-businesses will be assessed and mitigated before approval. This is a significant improvement and a first step on the long road that leads to freeing the business community from red-tape and over-regulation.”
More than 50 local residents turned out recently to question the local MEP who firmly believes that politicians should ‘trust the people’.
The well-attended public meeting at the Old Court Hotel, Whitchurch, heard Ross Conservative MEP, Anthea McIntyre, set out the case for an In/Out referendum as part of the “Europe: Let Britain Decide” campaign.
“It was a tremendous opportunity for me to answer a whole range of questions and to set out the reasons why I am so strongly committed to a clear and unequivocal referendum following a process of renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU.” said Miss McIntyre.
“Unlike our opponents, who seem to believe that politicians always know best, the Conservative Party is the only major party that is prepared to trust the people on this important issue.
“There is clear evidence that a number of our European neighbours, most notably Germany, are accepting our arguments that the EU is too cumbersome, too intrusive and too involved in many areas that should be left to national governments. The prospect of renegotiating a new relationship, one that is in Britain’s interests, is better now than it has been for many years,” she added.
Plans to set up a raft of Europe-wide regulation for pay talks between employers and trade unions were condemned today by Conservative MEPs.
Employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre said approval by MEPs of a report on cross-border collective bargaining set a dangerous precedent.
She insisted: "Conservative MEPs voted against this because it is simply not an area where the EU should legitimately get involved.
"Sadly it was voted through with the enthusiastic support of MEPs from the British Labour Party, no doubt acting on the instructions of their trade-union paymasters."
The report, by German Far-Left MEP Thomas Händel, was approved by a majority of MEPs in Strasbourg yesterday afternoon (Thursday). It seeks to create a Europe-wide set of rules and regulations for negotiations on pay and conditions in companies that operate in more than one EU state.
Analysis of the voting received today shows that 11 Labour MEPs, including GMB-sponsored delegation leader Glenis Willmott, voted in favour of the report.
Miss McIntyre said: "There is not sufficient evidence to justify EU policy initiatives or action in this area. Instead we must respect the traditions of individual member states and allow companies the flexibility to tailor their agreements to the legislative and industrial frameworks in which they operate.
"Worryingly, the report also demands a greater role for trade unions in shaping EU policy. We absolutely object to any further interference between the trade unions and elected policy makers, but Labour MEPs continue to dance to the trade-union tune."
The announcement of hundreds of new jobs at Jaguar Land Rover was welcomed by West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre during a speech in Strasbourg.
The Conservative employment spokesman told the European Parliament the creation of the jobs, working on the development of new models at Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull factory, was a huge boost for Britain and the region.
During a debate on youth employment she said: "This is one of the biggest challenges facing member states. Only by growing our economies and encouraging new businesses will we see youth unemployment come down.
"Today Jaguar Land Rover a major employer in my region – the West Midlands – announced the creation of 1,700 new jobs at their Solihull factory. This is wonderful news and gives great hope to the young people in my region.
"It is so important to develop an entrepreneurial culture and an environment that is conducive to starting a business.
"Many young people have great ideas and great ambition. We must encourage them and recognise that some may fail. Someone who has never made a mistake has never made anything.
"Many member states, including my own, have already put in place comprehensive initiatives including expanding apprenticeships and investing in training to help young people get into the labour market. The British Government has committed about £1bn as part of a new 'youth contract.' Recent figures in the UK showed in three months the number of young people who are unemployed reduced by 43,000."
Britain's trade unions have been warned they would harm workers and cost jobs if their complaint to the European Commission about employment law ever proved successful.
The Trade Union Congress has made a formal legal objection over the United Kingdom's implementation of the European Union's Temporary Agency Worker's Directive, which came into force two years ago, claiming it is not being properly enforced.
However Anthea McIntyre, West Midlands MEP and the Conservative employment spokesman in Europe, said: "I believe this intervention is not only futile, but totally against the best interests of workers and job-creation.
"The TUC seems to think it has found a loophole and that it can ‘have a go’ at the Government for allowing a sensible amount of flexibility into the way the regulation works in the UK. The Government is adamant that everything has been done correctly and I am sure that is the case.
"I am confident the Government will prevail, but if Labour's paymasters at the TUC were by some chance to win, the likely result would be more people thrown on the dole and fewer people who want to work having the opportunity to do so. Companies currently giving work to people employed directly by agencies would surely have second thoughts about taking on temporary staff at all.
"You only need to look at France, where the number of job vacancies held by the leading temporary work agency Randstad fell by more than 20 per cent in two months, to learn what follows if this kind of EU directive is implemented with an excess of zeal. The Temporary Agency Worker's Directive is a perfect example of why the right to determine social legislation of this kind needs to be repatriated to the UK at the earliest opportunity."
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