The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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The Costs of Regulation and How the EU Makes Them Worse

William Mason


Everyone, including politicians, agrees that red tape stifles the economy. Unnecessary and preventative regulation, based on no data or scientific investigation, let alone a risk assessment, impedes entrepreneurial activity, social existence and liberty. It makes the lives of those it tries to protect, empty and dull; it prevents technological development; and lowers economic performance, keeping many people in poor conditions.

William Mason looks in this paper at the development of the regulatory structure and the forces that drive it – political ambition, the need for officials to make a mark for their career, single-issue lobbying organisations that do not have to deal with the consequences and, above all, the European Union.

Regulation for the European Union is a necessity as it is the strongest method of integration, the political structure’s aim. Only by imposing endless legislation and strengthening the regulatory structure can the various bodies of the EU show their power over national parliaments. What has actually developed with the various sources from which regulations can hit us is a regulatory competition, with each politician, organisation and political body trying to outbid the others. The result is catastrophic for the economy, social existence and any idea of freedom and responsibility.

William Mason analyses the sorry state of affairs we have found ourselves in, gives examples and even provides the solutions of how to create a freer and more harmonious society - better able to help each individual achieve his or her potential.

Politicians need to have the courage to implement radical changes if we are to survive as a free people. If we do not take action to eliminate the drivers of over-regulation, there will be no society left to decide what level of regulation is appropriate – merely individuals and the state.

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