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Brexit & Chemicals

People and wildlife in the UK are currently protected from harmful chemicals by the most sophisticated regulation system in the world – the EU ‘s chemical regulation, REACH, administered by the European Chemicals Agency ECHA in Helsinki.

Source: Rlevente, Wikimedia

On 22nd June 2016 the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU. The process of leaving the EU – Brexit – presents many risks for environmental and other regulation in the UK.

In CHEM Trust’s view the UK should aim to stay as close as possible to REACH, for example including it in any Free Trade Agreement negotiated with the rest of the EU. We consider that any new regulatory system would be expensive to create and would be very unlikely to provide the same level of protection of public and the environment.

It is vital that a post-Brexit Britain continues to have an effective system to protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals, such as those that can accumulate in our bodies or disrupt our hormones.

Latest news:

  • The UK Government published a White Paper on Brexit on 12th July – our blog examines what it says about REACH and ECHA, and what more we think the UK will have to do to stay in REACH.
  • CHEM Trust Executive Director Dr Michael Warhurst gave a keynote presentation, “Can the UK stay in REACH?“, at a Chemical Watch conference on “Post Brexit options for UK chemicals law” on April 17th 2018. Chemical Watch have reported on the conference, including this talk.

Our earlier contributions include:

You can read all our blogs related to chemicals and Brexit here.