For the UK chemicals industry, Brexit has always been a question of damage limitation. Following an eleventh hour deal, we as a sector are relieved but also now face a massive challenge with the disappointing news that access to EU REACH data has been denied by the EU. Our major priority now is how best to minimise the cost implications of complying with UK REACH, which we think will be around £1bn.
In recent weeks, the CIA have been working on potential solutions to this financially significant challenge. Having met with the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, I stressed the huge importance of securing a more cost effective and efficient UK REACH regime than the one currently anticipated and let me make clear we want high standards of regulation not low. In recent weeks I have reiterated this several times, detailing the serious implications for our sector, which has not gone unnoticed by the media at home and abroad (New York Times, The Chemical Engineer and EURACTIV). Just yesterday, I was interviewed with Nick Peters of ZenootTV, a new TV and video platform devoted to the manufacturing sector, which you can view below.
I again stressed that our aim is to work with the government to ensure there is a UK chemicals regulatory regime that is efficient, sensitive to innovation and competitiveness whilst continuing to protect both health and the environment.
Steve Elliott, CIA Chief Executive