The drive for better lawmaking in the European Union must continue even after Brexit.

That was the message when Anthea McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, addressed a meeting on better regulation organised in Brussels by the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA).

Miss McIntyre, Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament and Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group’s Policy Forum on Better-Regulation, said: "I have always championed the idea that businesses create jobs, not EU growth plans or regulation."

She outlined a policy report on her brainchild the EU Annual Burden Survey - a yearly stock-check of the impact of regulation on enterprise - and she presented a copy to Commission Vice President Franz Timmermans.

She praised Mr Timmermans's drive for better regulation and said she was pleased the survey (ABS) had been adopted. However, she warned: "The challenge for the institutions is to ensure that the ABS does not become a missed opportunity.

"Delivering legislation that works in practice is key to facilitating the growth and development of SMEs in Europe.
 
"While we may have created a simple piece of legislation at Union level which we believe is easy for businesses and especially SMEs to understand and comply with - how can we be sure that when it’s transposed into national legislation it remains like that?

"I am so grateful for the excellent help of ESBA, and in particular of Patrick Gibbels, in producing a policy paper setting out how the Annual Burden Survey could be used to draw comparisons, on an annual basis, on the way individual pieces of legislation have been transposed at the national level by each member state.

"The Annual Burden Survey as set out in the policy paper will help identify cases of unnecessary gold-plating in Member States. I believe that by bringing such transparency to the legislative process - we can ensure that legislation remains simple, clear and enforceable for our SMEs."
 
Mr Timmermans echoed Miss McIntyre's call for continued progress. He cited movement toward better regulation as an achievement of the current Commission - but said it must continue with the next.

"We have not reached the point of no return. What we have gained could still be lost so we must continue to press ahead," he said.