CONSERVATIVE MEP for the Black Country Philip Bradbourn today called for an end to the EU's obsession with regulation, blaming the Labour Government for acquiescing to these rules from Brussels.

The EU now accounts for more than 70 per cent of the cumulative cost of new regulations to small and medium sized businesses but in recent years, the UK Government has been criticised for arbitrarily nodding through and even extending much of this legislation.

Mr Bradbourn, who today helped launch the latest of Conservative initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of red-tape, said: “British industry is being choked to death by over-regulation.

"The cost to European businesses of EU legislation and associated red tape is now running at £400 billion a year.

"The cost of compliance can and often does mean the difference between success and failure for many of the UK’s small to medium-sized businesses.

“While much of this over-regulation has it origins in Brussels, the UK Government is equally to blame for the problem by approving these laws in the Council of Ministers."

He added: “The European Union has become synonymous with increased red tape and, inevitably, increased costs for businesses, employees and consumers in the West Midlands and its rural hinterland.

"It is time to say enough is enough and for the Government to start using its power to block much of this unnecessary legislation."