Some 200,000 UK businesses trade with people in other EU countries, and many businesses in other EU countries trade with the UK. So it makes sense to agree on EU-wide laws to protect businesses.
We’ve created a level playing field so that small and medium-sized businesses — which are 99% of all businesses in the EU — are able to compete fairly with multinational corporations.
Some of the key actions the EU has taken to help businesses include:
- Creating common rules for the common market. British businesses no longer have to fill out multiple different forms and follow multiple different standards for each country their products passes through. This not only helps domestic businesses, it also attracts global companies to the UK so they can access the EU market.
- Ensuring VAT is paid at the rate of the buyer’s country, not the seller’s. Multinational companies can no longer gain an advantage over SMEs by moving their base of operations to countries with cheaper taxes.
- Giving small businesses the right to charge interest for late payment. Exporters can also more easily pursue claims in other EU countries for late or non-payment by customers.
- Supporting country-by-country tax reporting — an initiative supported by Labour MEPs.
- Offering opportunities to progressive green businesses, which are predicted to add around £20 billion to the economy.
- Developing ways for enterprises to turn environmental challenges into business opportunities — such as the Waste Valor project in my constituency, which helps companies turn businesses’ waste into a source of income and minimises the amount that goes to landfill.
- Providing education and training to new businesses and individuals, and promoting innovation.
- Protecting local products, such as Wensleydale cheese and Yorkshire rhubarb, from imitation across Europe.