Reform in the European Union cannot stop with David Cameron's renegotiation. It must be an ongoing process, MEPs have been told.

The warning came from Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre who is a key British negotiator on new ground rules which the EU is drawing up for how its main institutions create laws.

She said simplifying regulation and setting targets for cutting red tape would be good for the whole EU, not just Britain.

The West Midlands MEP was addressing the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs Committee about the so-called Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA) on Better Law-making. She has negotiated an amendment calling for the EU Commission to come forward with proposals establishing targets for the reduction of burdens in key sectors as soon as possible.

Miss McIntyre said: "Reform in the EU must be an ongoing process. Cutting the administrative burden, the red-tape, especially for small businesses, is very important to my group, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and our amendments reflect this view.

"I very much welcome the Conclusions of the European Council Meeting of 19th February which specifically reference this new IIA and several of its components including the Annual Burden Survey and a burden reduction target.

"This was a key part of our British Prime Minister's demands in the renegotiation.

"Yes he has obtained a special status for Britain, but it is also important, as he made clear, that we make things better for all the Member States in Europe. So, I particularly welcome the agreement to:-

- A strong commitment to regulatory simplification and burden reduction

- Doing more to reduce the overall burden of EU regulation, especially on SMEs and micro-enterprises

- Establishing where feasible burden reduction targets in key sectors

"The Commission has committed to undertake an annual review of the EU's efforts to simplify legislation, avoid over-regulation and reduce burdens on business. This will include an Annual Burden Survey and will also look at the stock of existing EU law.

Speaking after the meeting Miss McIntyre said, "I believe that Britain is safer, stronger and better off in a reformed EU. Reform is vital and this agreement is another step in a continuing journey of reform."