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Lords EU Committee sounds alarm on post-Brexit chemicals safety regulation

Monday 12 October 2020

Chemical businesses face severe costs and mounting uncertainty over new safety regulations after the Brexit transition period, a group of Peers has warned.

But a data-sharing agreement with the EU or alternative arrangements would help mitigate the situation, according to the House of Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee which wants a government rethink.

In a letter the committee has urged Environment Secretary George Eustice and Business Secretary Alok Sharma to do all they can to secure a data-sharing agreement otherwise many companies will have to buy or reproduce data owned by European counterparts.

Increased and unnecessary costs for the chemicals industry - Britain’s second largest manufacturing sector after food and drink - will push up prices for other manufacturers who use chemicals in their products and for consumers, the committee says.

UK chemical manufacturers and importers may take products off the market meaning that other industries will have to produce alternatives which could lead to less effective, more expensive goods and less choice for consumers.

Lord Teverson, Chair of the EU Environment Sub-Committee, said:

“We heard evidence that greatly concerned us about continuing issues regarding the new UK chemicals regime and are concerned especially about the estimated costs of the data requirements.

“New thinking by the government is required to ensure that we protect human and environmental health without having a negative impact on our economy and without placing excessive burdens on industry.

“Industry’s priority is for the UK regime to remain consistent with EU REACH, and our priority is to protect the UK economy and consumers. A data-sharing agreement is the way to accomplish both.”

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