Discriminatory legislation is preventing UK retailers from expanding into other European Union countries, the British Retail Consortium claimed today (4 October).

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said that the BRC believes that while the EU continues to make life "harder" for retailers by churning out costly regulation, it is failing to bring the advantages that would come from fully implementing a single market and removing national barriers to cross-border investment.

Robertson highlighted the issues facing UK retailers looking to invest in other European countries including restricted sales promotions in certain countries, discriminatory taxes against large retailers, the poor implementation of the services directive and restrictive e-commerce rules.

 "The UK shows the clear economic and customer benefits that come from a genuinely open market. Too many other EU countries just don't get that. We currently have the disadvantages of a costly regulation machine without the full access to 500 million customers that a proper single market would give," said Robertson.

"At a time when export-led growth is crucial, the Commission needs to work harder to bring down those barriers and other member states must meet their obligations."