Brussels directive turning up the heat on British business

Calor is our largest supplier of liquefied petroleum gas, which millions use to cook and heat their homes.

Recently, the firm spent millions of pounds on a new fleet of state-of-the-art, British-built tankers, so much more efficient than those they replaced that Calor now needs 10 per cent fewer vehicles.

An EU directive now requires the firm to upgrade again to ensure that tankers designed for British conditions also cope with Mediterranean conditions, making them heavier, unable to carry as much gas and as a consequence will be less fuel efficient. Only designed for the UK and agreeable to our Department for Transport, when the directive was approved at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, one of our permanent officials in Brussels was the only British representative who said that the UK supported the directive.

So much for Prime Minister David Cameron’s “Red Tape Challenge” to identify and remove “those unnecessary, frustrating regulations” burdening businesses, hurting the economy and damaging society.

However, as Cameron’s Red Tape Challenge website explains, “the UK Government cannot scrap EU regulations” even though it recognises their burden.

At around 80 per cent of our total burden and rising, this is a burden from a trading community (in name only).

One thing that this does make clear, and in spite of Mr Cameron’s admirable intentions; regardless of whether in Edinburgh or London, when our real, unelected government in Brussels speaks, we are hamstrung and are compelled to obey.

Steven McKeane

Ellwyn Terrace