Brexit: chemical industry to present its views on future partnership between the EU and the UK

Reacting to the formal approval of a new Brexit negotiation mandate by the EU General Affairs Council on 25 February, the EU and UK chemical industry have outlined their priorities for a future partnership. Both associations reiterate the need to keep trade in chemicals between the EU and UK as smooth as possible to ensure that the industry on both sides of the Channel continues to thrive, contribute to the economic growth and provide jobs.

Marco Mensink, Director General, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic):  “The European chemical industry stands united in its wish to keep chemicals regulations aligned and for the UK to remain part of REACH and ECHA. Diverging regulations will lead to unnecessary costs for the chemical industry, duplicate animal testing and cause major distortion of industrial value chains.”

Stephen Elliott, Chief Executive, the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA): “As both negotiating parties set out their starting positions this week,  we would urge them to aim for an agreement that helps secure sustainable jobs and growth across the UK and the EU.  With that in mind, the UK and EU chemical industry needs an agreement that recognises the economic and environmental logic of remaining closely connected with regard to the REACH regulation, addressing the safety of chemicals and their placement on the market. Realising that ambition will be good for business, good for jobs and good for the health and safety of European workers and citizens on both sides of the Channel.”     

Responding to the UK government ‘s approach to the Future Relationship with the EU published on 27 February, Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General added: “We are pleased to see an explicit mention in an Annex on chemicals that it should facilitate trade in chemical substances and related products and ensure high levels of protection for the environment and human and animal health.

Our principle position remains the same: we would like to see the UK remain part of REACH and ECHA. The idea of agreeing on data and information sharing mechanisms and a memorandum of understanding may also open the door for an advanced form of regulatory cooperation that should minimize regulatory divergence and costs for the chemical industry.”