The European Commission must break down barriers to trade within the EU when it launches its Single Market Act (SMA) tomorrow, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said.

 

 UK businesses want the SMA’s 50 proposals to deliver a real difference – by making it easier for UK companies to access new markets across the Continent. Following the Commission’s announcement, the SMA’s proposals will be agreed by member-states early next year, and implemented over the course of 2011-12.

 

 The British Chambers of Commerce has put forward eight priorities for reinvigorating the Single Market – and improving cross-border access for all EU businesses. These eight priorities have been brought together in a high-profile poster, and include:

 

  

 .        A call for a UK and EU-wide campaign to improve business awareness of the Single Market;

 ·         Ensuring that the EU ‘ thinks small first’, creating a level playing field for smaller companies, whose growth can be burdened by unnecessary regulation;

·         Ensuring that businesses can easily trade services, and not just goods, across EU borders; and

·         Delivering a real freeze on new Europe-wide employment regulations, which could stop businesses from creating jobs. 

Commenting, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Single Market could be Europe’s greatest achievement, but time is running out. Millions of businesses, particularly smaller ones, have yet to feel its full benefits. We believe that the steps that we have set out today will help reinvigorate the Single Market and make it work more efficiently. “This is a crucial time for British business as we look to find new sources of economic growth and rebalance our economy towards exports. A stronger Single Market will mean fewer barriers to British companies trading in Europe, and better outcomes for UK plc.  The death knell for the Single Market would be more restrictive social and employment rights.”