Opinion

MUPPETs: A modest proposal to free us from Brussels red tape

2 min read

17 May 2013

Anyone who runs a business will have felt the pain of complying with tedious bureaucracy, which so often emanates from Brussels before being gold-plated in Whitehall.

So it’s no surprise that politicians are talking about pulling out of the EU. Scrapping a sheaf of rules would certainly make doing business easier. But many businesses are understandably nervous. Would we still be able to sell to the Continent? There’s no point making it easier to do business if there’s no business to do.

But I believe there is another option. A plan so cunning that it will not only rid us of Brussels red tape, but also help make the UK’s public sector more productive at the same time.

The first step is to set up a new government department. (Bear with me here, this really will result in less bureaucracy, I promise.) We’ll call the new department the Ministry for Undertaking Policies Proceeding from European Treaties, or MUPPETs, for short. The job of MUPPETs would be to do the job (currently divided among the rest of the government) of turning EU rules into UK law. As I’m sure you know, while the Italians, French et al are pretty slapdash when it comes to taking on board Euro regs, our diligent bureaucrats swiftly turn them into ream after ream of elegantly worded laws. MUPPETs would take over this job.

So what, you might ask. But here’s the clever bit: MUPPETs will be staffed with the lowest 25 per cent of performers from every other government department, the unsackable dregs that most people who have dealt with government have encountered from time to time. They will be lightly managed and given relaxing work schedules. The end result of this will be a joy for British businesses. 

Euro regulations will sit in limbo indefinitely, rather than troubling British businesses, and when they finally come out will be utterly unenforceable. The rest of the Civil Service will become a model of lean efficiency, and a pleasure to deal with. Three cheers for the MUPPETs show!

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