“If we are the ‘main business representative body’ [as Byrne described them] then we are surprised that the Commissioner keeps reporting that there is ‘broad support’ for the plan,” said Chauvin.“That is because, from the very outset, UNICE has expressed high scepticism and has asked, from the very beginning, for clarification. “Maybe it’s time to get that clarification. The reform Byrne is proposing is far-reaching and could have an impact not only on consumers but the whole internal market. But we have not had a satisfactory response and we are not in a position to support it.”Chauvin admitted that industry was encouraged by Byrne’s initial promise to replace some of a patchwork of EU consumer protection laws covering many sectors with a single framework directive that would force companies to trade fairly with their customers.But he said this plan appears to have been scaled back and that the new directive might be an extra layer of red tape that will make life more complicated for companies – particularly small firms. “Now they [Byrne and his officials] are saying the broad framework could co-exist…it is changing, and moving like an amoeba – but the contours are not shaped,” added Chauvin. The linchpin of Byrne’s plan – to be in place when he leaves the Commission in 2004 – is a framework directive that would force businesses from plumbers to e-commerce bookstores to abide by common levels of ‘fairness’ in their dealings with customers. In an interview with European Voice last week, Byrne said a green paper outlining his proposals had received “a very good response” from business groups. However Jérôme Chauvin, head of company affairs at Brussels-based EU employers’ federation UNICE, suggested the Irish Commissioner’s statement was overly positive. The business group said it also has concerns over the way the Byrne blueprint will fit in with other pressing areas of EU policy.These include Commission President Romano Prodi’s proposals on European governance, the Convention on the future of Europe and a separate initiative on sales promotions, launched by Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein.At the same time, UNICE said it was unclear how Byrne’s plans would affect industry’s efforts to police itself.
EPL: Saturday shock and thrills Red Devils on a roll “VAR is a work in progress, but I’m for right decisions and they definitely deserved their goal today.” For many years the clashes between these sides were the Premier League’s marquee fixtures. United and Arsenal were the champions of England for nine consecutive seasons between 1996 and 2004. However, the fact they were facing off on a Monday night because neither are in Champions League action later this week was reflected in a first 45 minutes devoid of inspiration. “I think both Man Utd and us have quality players and we need to improve, to work, to improve physically and tactically to achieve the best performance,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery. The one moment of quality separated the sides just before the break as Scott McTominay’s stunning strike put United in front. Daniel James led a counter-attack from an Arsenal corner and after his cross just evaded Marcus Rashford, the England international cut the ball back to the edge of the box where McTominay smashed into the top corner. That was the first goal United had scored a goal from open play at home in the first-half this season. And they failed to find another goal despite dominating after Arsenal’s equaliser. Paul Pogba fired inches wide from the edge of the area before McTominay somehow didn’t score his second of the night with a free header six yards out from a corner. Bernd Leno produced a fine save to turn a piledriver from Maguire over as the world’s most expensive defender tried to atone for his earlier error. But the German goalkeeper’s best save of the evening came at the death as he flew to his left to turn Rashford’s powerful free-kick to safety. Arsenal remain without a league victory at Old Trafford since 2006, but a point is enough to edge them back into the top four on goal difference. “We wanted to win because we were thinking it was a very good opportunity here to achieve the three points,” added Emery. “After 90 minutes I think it was a fair result for both sides.” Catch up on all the latest sports news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand and wife Kate Wright enjoy fun dates, crazy night outs Manchester: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer jealously lauded the killer touch of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after the Arsenal striker secured a 1-1 draw for the Gunners at Old Trafford on Monday. A return of just nine points from their opening seven games is United’s worst league start for 30 years and leaves them already 12 points behind leaders Liverpool in 10th. Solskjaer’s side have not scored more than one goal since the opening weekend of the season, while Aubameyang took his tally for the season to eight in eight games, seven of which have come in the Premier League. “It’s another game that we are 1-0 up,” said Solskjaer. “1-0 at Southampton, 1-0 up at Wolves, we need to learn to win these games. “We go 1-0 up and then we don’t get the second goal that we want to get. That’s the learning now for this time. Be more cynical, clinical.” Aubameyang’s equaliser just before the hour mark was only awarded after a VAR review with the Gabon international initially wrongly flagged offside. Bukayo Saka pounced on a misplaced pass deep inside the United half and his through ball freed Aubameyang, who was clearly played onside by Harry Maguire. “Seven now in seven games, so that’s clinical,” added Solskjaer admiringly of Aubameyang.Related News