Regulations & EHS&S

UK chemical sector encourages collaboration to achieve aim of associate membership of European Chemicals Agency

The UK’s number one manufacturing exporter, the chemical industry, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK is seeking Associate Membership of the European Chemicals Agency as part of a post-Brexit future.

Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association said “Today’s statement by the Prime Minister is an encouraging step forward which acknowledges our industry’s long-standing call for regulatory consistency in leaving the European Union. 

Although  the proposal for the UK to hold “associate membership” of the EU Chemicals Agency needs further definition, we would urge the UK and EU negotiating partners and all of the European chemical industry to respond positively to this initiative, keeping in mind the desired aim of minimal disruption to EU chemicals trade and investment as an outcome from Brexit. More specifically, Theresa May’s commitment to enabling the continued involvement of UK officials and their related technical expertise in the workings of REACH is something that I believe would be welcomed by our European partners.   Her aim of avoiding duplicate testing and related costs under REACH would also help protect a decade’s worth of investment in REACH by chemical businesses in the UK.

Elliott concluded “In the UK I would like all sectors, trade unions, NGO’s and political parties to work with Government to see if we can make this proposal work. Brexit will present future opportunities around the world but I have long believed it is in this Country’s interest to remain as close as possible to the market that matters the most. That is certainly the case for the sector I represent”.