David Cameron once called for 'bonfire' of EU red tape, papers reveal

David Cameron left Downing Street in 2016 following the EU referendum (PA)

David Cameron once called for a “bonfire” of EU regulation and blasted “Euro red tape”, an archive file has revealed.

The Conservative Party released papers showing the former Prime Minister’s Euroscepticism when he was working as a researcher for the Conservative Research Department in 1988.

The papers have been released under the so-called 30-year rule, which is when government documents are publicised three decades after they are created.

At the time, Mr Cameron claimed the work of Margaret Thatcher’s government would be wasted on the deregulation of business if companies in the UK were “wrapped in Euro red tape”.

Mr Cameron resigned as prime minister in 2016 shortly after the UK voted to leave the European Union.

David Cameron was behind the controversial EU referendum vote in 2016 (Picture: EPA)

The former PM said in the papers: “The completion of the single market will require a substantial volume of new community legislation.

“It is essential that this should not add unnecessarily to the burden of regulation on business.

“Substantial deregulation in the UK is wasted if business is then wrapped in Euro red tape.

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“The Government aims to ensure that EC markets continue to be opened up in a way which allows market forces to work and the community as a whole to become more competitive.

“The keynote must be liberalisation.”

Mr Cameron quoted Sir Geoffrey Howe, who was foreign secretary at the time, in the briefing paper, saying: “We need to see a Europe free of regulations, quotas, licences and restrictions, a bonfire of controls on a European scale even bigger and better than what we have seen in this country.”

David Cameron’s memoirs are expected to be published later this year (Picture: EPA)

Mr Cameron’s memoirs are expected to be published later this year, coinciding with the Conservative Party Conference in September.

The former Conservative leader signed an £800,000 deal with publishers William Collins three months after he left Downing Street, saying his book would offer a “frank and personal account” of his time as leader.

Mr Cameron has even spent £25,000 on a luxury hut for his garden at his Oxfordshire home so he could write his book.

The shepherd’s hut features sheep’s wool insulation, a wood-burning stove, Bakelite light switches and hardwood stable doors.