The phrase 'level-playing field' becomes more and more important. How important was clearly illustrated this last week with the vote in the European Parliament showing just how out of touch our politicians really are.
The 48-hour opt out gives businesses the flexibility that we need to choose how we run and operate our businesses in what is an ever increasingly competitive world.
Not just here in the UK, not just amongst the 25 members states of the EU, but globally between emerging economies with their low wage, low regulation and complete lack of enforcement compared with our ever increasingly European model of nanny state - nanny regulations, and the determination by government to interfere in what used to be the right of employers and employees to decide for and between themselves.
The once strong German economy shows how ineffective this model has become.
It is hardly surprising though that with the ever increasing burdens continually being imposed on businesses that we are losing our ability to compete or to be flexible. The inevitable effect is of course that the number of job losses rise and inward investment falls dramatically here in the UK.
We only have to look at the recent Working Time Directive on the transport sector in April to realise just how severely we will all be affected by this. Carriers are already adding 3-5 per cent surcharges to their rates, additional costs are being imposed on employers, and yet other European countries do not even have the legislation in their sights.
How on earth can this enable British industry and especially our manufacturing sector to compete in the actual markets that it is trading in?
There is also a principle here, and that is that the individual should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want to work longer hours to the benefit of his or her family.
This does not mean going back to employees having to deal with irresponsible employers - it is pure and simply an opt out which they can choose to sign up to or not. When I was in Germany at the beginning of this month, neither Germany nor France, I was informed, have a minimum wage.
Again this is another area where an unlevel playing field has been created and against which we have to compete. The FSB has always been in favour of a minimum wage, but one that is set at a level that the economy can sustain.
Unfortunately, we are beginning to see certain sectors and regions being disproportionately affected by very large increases which cumulatively can no longer be justified.
What is never highlighted with these increases is the substantial amount that is immediately taken back in taxation and national insurance costs by the Treasury.
Two weeks ago, I asked our newly-elected MPs to help us to grow our businesses, yet clearly they all need to look at the wider picture, and understand the impact these burdens place on small businesses, and the disadvantage they put us all at.