Emmanuel Macron has asked the EU to stop spewing out green regulations by the bucket-load, pointing out that the region won’t be able to compete with less regulated parts of the world if the rush to Net Zero continues. Will Rishi Sunak take note? The Telegraph has more.
Emmanuel Macron had a spring in his step as he donned a hard hat to join workers at an aluminium factory in Dunkirk.
The French president was there to trumpet the recent decision by ProLogium, a Taiwanese car battery maker, to establish its first overseas plant in the northern town, ploughing in €5.2 billion (£4.5 billion).
But he also had another message for his audience: that further factory investment was at risk unless France and the EU pressed pause on the reams of green laws and regulations flowing out of Brussels.
Europe had already done more than the likes of America and China, he argued, and tinkering further with standards would put it at a competitive disadvantage.
“I prefer factories that respect our European standards, which are the best, rather than those who still want to add standards and always more – but without having anymore factories,” he told the crowd this month.
Macron was underlining a speech he had made just a day earlier at the Elysee Palace. Outlining his green industrial strategy, the French president called for a “European regulatory pause”, adding: “We have already passed a lot of regulations at the European level, more than our neighbours… Now we have to execute, not make new rule changes, because otherwise we will lose all the players.”
Bruno Le Maire, the economy minister, later backed his boss up, telling French television: “There are rules, they are the most demanding on the whole planet. Rather than always wanting to reinforce them, you have to apply them.”
The shifts across the water pose searching questions for the U.K., about whether a loosening of the EU’s green transition could put British businesses at a disadvantage as well. Can a nation impose some of the strictest environmental rules in the world while protecting the competitiveness of its industrial base?
And as Europe pauses its drive towards net zero, is Britain at risk of becoming more isolated than ever?
Worth reading in full.