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Britain's chemicals industry at risk says House of Commons Committee

May 12, 2017 9:46 AM

Far from freeing up the British chemicals industry, Brexit (leaving the European Union single market) threatens to land it with "increased costs and red tape" if the UK abandons an EU-wide chemicals registration scheme that is central to the EU's single market, the UK House of Commons' Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has concluded in a report.

The signs are ominous. "We are not going to be part of the single market, and REACH is a single market mechanism," a Defra official told the EAC in evidence.

The report on the EU's Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) regulations underlines that for the British chemicals industry - the country's second-largest manufacturer and exporter to the EU - all-important EU single market access is governed as much by common regulation as it is affected by potential post-Brexit tariffs.

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