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EU hopes to give health and safety offenders no place to hide

FOREIGN ENGINEERING firms found guilty of health and safety offences in the UK will be forced to pay fines under a new European convention being negotiated by the British Home Office.

Last month the Home Office confirmed that talks were under way with other European Union states which would make health and safety offences committed in one country enforceable in another.

Confirmation came just days after tunnelling consultant Geoconsult failed to appear before magistrates to explain its continued failure to pay a £500,000 fine for its part in the 1994 Heathrow Express collapse.

A lobbying campaign is being led by Member of European Parliament for South East England, Mark Watts. Watts told GE: 'Geoconsult is making a mockery of UK health and safety laws. As the law stands, UK clients are discouraged from taking on overseas firms and the single market is endangered. '

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