From butter mountain to red tape mountain – the EU culture of waste continues

David Nieper, a Derbyshire based fashion manufacturing business that designs and manufactures luxury women’s clothes put down its needles and thread and built an EU red tape mountain. The mountain of paper reaches from factory floor to ceiling and was created as a discussion point for visiting Minister of State for Small Business and Enterprise, Anna Soubry MP who supports the ‘Remain’ campaign.

EU mountain 1

Although a tongue-in-cheek gesture by the company, the paper mountain is a symbol constructed to illustrate the sheer scale of red tape which Business and EU citizens face in their daily lives. Between 1957 and 2013 (when the Official Journal ceased to be published in print) the EU passed a staggering 714,707 pages of law.  The Official Journal, or acquis communautaire* is the collective name for all of the EU’s laws and regulations,  the library of red tape that Europe’s citizens and businesses have to obey.

If you were to print out the entire acquis communautaire on A4 paper, laying them out lengthways would stretch 130 miles, stacked would reach over 46 metres, the same height as Nelson’s column and weighed would be similar to a small whale or a rhinoceros.  Even if you printed out just the laws in force today, EU legislation at 31miles would stretch further than the length of a marathon.

The paper mountain was built to highlight the EU’s ongoing theme of overproduction, following decades of butter mountains, grain mountains, beef mountains, wine lakes, milk lakes and now, as a continuation of the culture of waste – a red tape mountain.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission told a meeting of the Council of Europe*  “I think one of the reasons why European citizens are stepping away from the European project is due to the fact that we are interfering in too many domains of their private lives.”

David Nieper, Managing Director, Christopher Nieper commented:

““Unlike any of the infamous, historic EU mountains of wasted produce, our mountain is easily dismantled, recycled and made from sustainable stock. It has taken us a few hours to build our very own version of the acquis communaire, however I would need to take 3 months off work to read it!

We welcome sensible regulations relevant to British business and British jobs and appreciate the good intentions of politicians like Anna Soubry MP doing their utmost to reduce legislation, however, studies show that the red tape mountain has never stopped growing with yet another 2,500 new laws during the last 5 years alone.

It’s unrealistic to expect Britain’s 5 million small businesses to absorb all this. We have to compete in a global market and direct our energies to creating jobs not ticking boxes”

David Nieper exports one third of its products to Europe, employs sales staff in Europe and buys fabrics in Europe. So far this year the company has received visits from 4 MPs including Alan Johnson and this week Anna Soubry campaigning to remain in the EU, as well as Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart for the Vote Leave party.