Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): Does not the Minister understand that we do not want better impact assessments, but less regulation? How will the Government deliver their very good one-in, one-out policy on regulation if they cannot stop the torrent of regulation that is still pouring out of Brussels now that it is occupying the whole of the financial services field, for example?
The Minister for Europe (Mr David Lidington): We have to do both. The two are not alternatives. Impact assessments are valuable, and they focus the minds of other European Governments, and of the groups representing industry in those member states, to become more active in pressing home their interests than is sometimes the case at the moment. The more transparency that we get in the European legislative process, the more likely it is that we will move towards the objective that both my right hon. Friend and I seek.
I would share with my right hon. Friend a wish to see the EU legislate less. There is too often a culture in the Commission that identifies a problem and then seeks a remedy in the form of new law. Non-legislative measures can often be more effective, and certainly less burdensome and complex, than legislative measures. That is something that my colleagues across Government are pursuing with colleagues from other countries who share our views on this matter, and we seek to encourage other countries to work with us to look for non-legislative ways of addressing problems and challenges, rather than looking for a new directive as the first resort every time.