David Cameron urges EU to ditch red tape proposed following horse meat scandal
Prime Minister claims rules have “throttled” businesses and has organised a meeting between task force members and those sympathetic to his plans
From: The Mirror
By: James Lyons
David Cameron will urge EU leaders to ditch tough new food labelling rules proposed in the wake of the horse meat scandal.
The PM is pushing a plan to cut “red tape” – including proposals forcing food firms to mark where animals have been slaughtered – at a summit in Brussels.
At Prime Minister’s Questions, he claimed to be tackling red tape that “throttled” businesses.
“I have organised a meeting for our businesses to explain their proposals for cutting red tape to fellow European leaders from Finland, Italy, Germany and elsewhere,” he said.
The plan drawn up by UK business leaders sparked anger over proposals to scrap protection for workers at small firms when it was published last week.
Demands to axe new EU rules that would force food giants to clearly mark where animals have been slaughtered along with welfare regulations are also buried in the task force’s report.
Mr Cameron has sent copies to fellow European leaders ahead of the two-day gathering and will urge them to adopt the recommendations over dinner in Brussels.
And he will host a meeting between two of the task force members and a handful of those sympathetic to his plans including Germany’s Angela Merkel.
But Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle said: “David Cameron has learnt nothing from the horsemeat scandal if he thinks it’s a good idea to cave into pressure to axe food labelling and animal health rules.
“Consumers rightly want to know what they are eating, where it has come from and that animals have been subject to strict health, welfare and feeding rules.
“That’s not red tape, it’s plain common sense which David Cameron sadly appears to be lacking.”