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IN: Five Questions to Priti Patel

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Priti Patel MP

The Stronger IN campaign urged Priti Patel MP, Indian Diaspora Champion and the Employment Minister, to answer Five Questions on what leaving Europe would mean for UK small businesses

Priti Patel MP
Priti Patel MP

Priti Patel, who is campaigning for a British exit, told an audience of retailers that government attempts to free small business from EU regulations have been “frustrated by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels”.

In her speech, Ms Patel told the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers: “Following a vote to leave the EU, we could strip out EU laws that hold small firms back.

“We could roll back the frontiers of the EU and work with business to replace costly and bureaucratic EU laws with sensible and proportionate British laws.

“We could make sure that businesses can thrive and prosper as we introduce one of the most flexible and liberating regulatory regimes anywhere in the world.”

The following are the five questions of the Stronger IN to Priti:

* How can you say leaving Europe would be good for small businesses when 8 out of 10 want to remain?
An analysis of surveys in the last six months which asked businesses whether they favoured remaining in the EU or leaving shows an average of 81 per cent of SMEs in favour of remaining(FSB, Henderson Loggie, Goldman Sachs/Aston University, Moore Stephens, Tech London Advocates, FDF, COADEC).

* Name three regulations you would repeal if we left the EU?
Is it paternity leave?  Shared parental leave? Health and safety regulations?

* Economist Patrick Minford is today launching a report on leaving Europe. He says this would ‘eliminate manufacturing’ in the UK. Do you agree that’s a price worth paying?

He said: ‘over time, if we left the EU, it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech. But this shouldn’t scare us’ (Patrick Minford, The Sun, 15 March 2016, link).

*The Governor of the Bank of England and the OECD both say Britain has low regulation. Why do you disagree?
Mark Carney: ‘despite being a member of the European Union, the actual regulatory burden in the United Kingdom is remarkably low for an advanced economy’ (Mark Carney, The Select Committee on Economic Affairs, 19 April 2016, link).Evidence from the OECD on product market regulation shows that the UK already has the second least restrictive regulatory regime among all advanced economies after the Netherlands, a fellow EU member.

* What is your model for the UK trading outside of Europe?
Vote Leave have confirmed they want to leave Europe’s single market, but what is their alternative? Albania, Norway, Switzerland and Canada have all been put forward as options. Which is it?