Oil & Gas UK and three trade unions have released a joint statement against the European Union’s proposed regulation to bring offshore oil and gas safety under a common policy.

The organization joined with the Trade Unions, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Unite the Union, to suggest that the proposed regulation will have a serious detrimental impact on standards of safety and environmental protection on the UK continental shelf.

The Oil & Gas UK and the unions said the proposed regulations were badly drafted and risked widespread confusion and did not involve regulator, the industry and its workforce.

Oil & Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb said by moving overall responsibility for offshore safety to the EU may undermine UK’s high standards of offshore safety and environmental protection.

"The four European countries that account for 90 per cent of the region’s production already operate under safety regimes that the Commission accepts are global exemplars," said Webb.

"To propose that legislative competence should shift from these countries to the 27 EU member states, the vast majority of whom have no involvement in the industry at all, is totally unjustified."

"The improvement of other safety regimes to bring them up to North West European standards would be best handled by a properly worded EU Directive which would also have the advantage of leaving the existing world class safety systems intact.

RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy said, "We see workforce involvement as a fundamental part of improving all-round safety performance in the offshore industry and this is increasingly being recognised by operators and contractors."