Commenting ahead of the new European Commission and its President Jean-Claude Juncker taking office in Brussels, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

 

“Now that months of political wrangling in Brussels have finally come to an end, British businesses want to see the new European Commission deliver meaningful reforms and tangible results.

 

"The Commission’s attention should now shift to completing the Single Market, particularly in services and e-commerce, which have barely got off the ground. Given the UK's obvious strengths in services, tearing down barriers to trading services within the EU would help to underpin the recovery here in Britain and in many other European countries. It is also important to ensure the Single Market for goods works in practice.

 

"Mr Juncker and his team have to strengthen their efforts to reduce the quantity and impact of regulation from Brussels. This is a shared responsibility with Whitehall, as European regulations are far too often made more onerous for business by the British civil servants charged with implementing them.

 

"The Commission must also press forward on free trade negotiations with countries around the globe. Far too many such negotiations have been launched, to great fanfare, only to languish for years thereafter - with businesses wondering whether they will ever bear fruit.

 

“The EU must function in the interests of all its member states, if it is to have legitimacy among businesspeople and the wider public. Both the Commission and the Prime Minister must press the case for meaningful reform. It important that the UK retains its decision making powers and safeguards are agreed for Britain and other non-Eurozone countries that wish to stay out of the tangle of an 'ever-closer union'."