Now we have David Smith writing in his Economic Outlook column in the Sunday Times of 22nd May that, using the example of red tape (see below), there’s also a big flaw in the “Vote Leave” argument that Britain’s competitiveness is “undermined by our membership of a failing EU”:
- Britain has less onerous regulations than most countries, in or out of the EU.
- For product market regulation, Britain is the second-least regulated of 34 OECD countries, and marginally less regulated than America.
- For employment legislation, Britain is the fourth-least regulated.
- The UK ranks 6th out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings.
- The UK ranks 10th out of 140 countries in the World Economic Forum GGlobal Competitiveness Index.
Britain could indeed be more competitive from improvements eg in education and skills, productivity, innovation and investment particularly in infrastructure; however, given its regulatory burden is lower than that of the vast majority of its competitors, blaming too much EU red tape for Britain’s failings is a flawed argument.