The British Government, like other democratic governments, seeks to influence the business environment to meet a range of objectives. These include stability and promotion of international trade and are essential in improving the people's standard of living. By achieving stability and fairness, the government gives people an opportunity to find reasonably well paid and secure jobs, thereby ensuring a source of income. Furthermore, an efficient and internationally oriented business environment contributes to an increased number of successful businesses due to a bigger market and increased demand. If people have good purchasing power due to their high incomes, the businesses are encouraged to compete on product quality as well as prices. If achieved, high levels of income and better quality of products and services will lead to a significantly improved standard of living in the UK. Although this aim justifies government's interventions affecting the business environment, there is still a debate going on about the extent to which government interventions influence individual businesses. The policies should not put too much extra burden on the shoulders of companies that are already struggling with internal problems such as high costs or low capacity utilisation. There has to be a balance between the government's attempts to improve the quality of life overall and individual efforts of businesses executives to make profits. .
One of the issues that Labour introduced when coming into power that has raised a substantial amount of contrasting arguments and created a heated debate in recent times is the incorporation of the Social Chapter into the British constitution. This is an element of the Maastricht Treaty signed by the twelve members of the European Union in 1992. In 1993 the UK took the decision to opt out of the Social Chapter, fearing that it would impose extra costs on UK businesses.