Chris Grayling has attacked the policy agenda of the European Commission, branding it as putting jobs at risk.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he said: "This is a prime example of European legislation which will evidently have an impact on the competitiveness of Europe and will impact on employment in Europe at a time when we have really very serious levels of unemployment in the EU.
"They all too often seem completely oblivious to the potential consequences of what they are doing. Britain and Europe are in a global race.
"We face intense competition from around the world. UK and EU business are fighting through difficult times to be able to keep up employment levels and win business around the world.
"If the EU keeps on trying to produce more and more complex laws that put more and more costs on to business, it's just going to cost jobs, and that would be mad.
"The people bringing forward proposals at the moment seem to have little idea of the reality of the political and democratic challenges."