UK

EasyJet 'Would Not Exist' Without EU Single Market, UK Report Finds

13/02/2014 11:19 GMT | Updated 13/02/2014 11:59 GMT
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A logo sits on the tailfin of an Airbus A319 aircraft, operated by EasyJet Plc, at the airline's hub at London Luton Airport in Luton, U.K., on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. Shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) and EasyJet Plc climbed at least 2 percent, pushing a gauge of travel and leisure companies higher, as oil prices slid in reaction to Iran's nuclear deal with world powers. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

EasyJet would not exist without the European single market, a government report on the UK's relationship with the rest of the Europe has found.

"EasyJet is a product of the EU's deregulation of Europe's aviation market. Without deregulation we would not exist," the budget airline told the review.

This comes as officials prepare to release eight detailed reports under a "balance of competences" review looking at how Britain's EU membership impacts on daily life.

In one example uncovered by a study of environmental and transport rules, a property developer had to pay more than £200,000 to move a colony of newts because of EU rules protecting the creatures’ natural habitat.

A more controversial study on EU migration has been delayed by the government till after May's European Elections as it is reported to not back up the government's case for tightening restrictions on EU migrants.

This has led to calls on the government to publish the report, with former Cabinet Office chief economist Jonathan Portes telling the Huffington Post UK: "It's not surprising that the government's review of the evidence should have concluded that EU migration is broadly good for the UK economy; and that it should have failed to provide any hard evidence that 'benefit tourism' is a problem. That is what the research shows."

"What I would say is that having taken the trouble to commission a comprehensive review of the evidence on this topic, which is clearly one of great public interest, the government has a duty to publish it in a timely fashion."

The Conservatives' Lib Dem coalition partners have been less keen on recent proposals to restrict eastern European migrants' access to benefits and have stressed the virtues of free movement inside the EU.

Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said: “I’m disappointed that Conservative ministers are blocking publication of a report which would help inform the public debate about EU migration ahead of the crucial European elections in May."