Press release

Second call for evidence on the government’s review of the balance of competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union

Second call for evidence on trade and investment, the free movement of goods, and research and development and how this impacts the UK.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills today launched a second call for evidence asking business groups, stakeholders and others to submit their views on trade and investment, the free movement of goods, and research and development and how this impacts the UK.

The Free Movement of Goods review is being jointly led by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Intellectual Property Office, (IPO), with HMRC taking a lead co-ordinating role. The review will consider the balance of competence over intra-EU trade in goods, the customs union and the protection of intellectual property.

The review of Trade and Investment is being led by BIS and will consider external trade and investment. Given that trade in goods is a major theme for both reviews, these reviews will be co-ordinated closely.

The Research and Development review will cover research, technological development, innovation and space.

These three calls for evidence are part of a two-year government review of the balance of competences between the UK and EU which was announced by the Foreign Secretary in July last year.

The Balance of Competences Review will provide an informed and objective analysis of what EU membership means for the UK and our national interest. It is looking at the scope of the EU’s competences (the power to act in a particular area) as they affect the UK and how they are used.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the review is asked to send their views before 6th August 2013. A report on first call for evidence on the single market will be published in Summer 2013.

Notes to editors

1.Evidence for the Trade and Investment Report and the Research and Development Report should be sent to balanceofcompetences@bis.gsi.gov.uk.

2.Evidence for the Free Movement of Goods Report should be sent to hmrc.balance-of-competences@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.

3.The Foreign Secretary launched the Balance of Competences Review in Parliament on 12 July 2012, taking forward the Coalition commitment to examine the balance of competences between the UK and the European Union. The review will produce a series of reports on specific areas of EU competence, spread over four semesters between autumn 2012 and autumn 2014 and will provide an analysis of what the UK’s membership of the EU means for the UK national interest. It will not be tasked with producing specific recommendations and will not prejudge future policy or look at alternative models for Britain’s overall relationship with the EU.

4.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 16 May 2013