Post-Brexit chemicals rules ‘unworkable, unrealistic, costly and will lead to more animal testing’, says industry

The chemicals industry has written to environment secretary Theresa Villiers slamming the government’s post-Brexit chemicals regulation plans and railing at the risk to business and DEFRA’s “unwillingness or inability” to consider alternatives.

Peter Newport, chief executive of the Chemical Business Association (CBA), which represents the whole chemicals supply chain, told Villiers in the letter that “compliance with EU requirements is non-negotiable”. Failure to comply would mean the industry, which sends 60% of its exports to the bloc, would lose market access and no longer be able to trade, he said. 

Chemicals business has already begun fleeing the UK, according to Newport. “A significant number of companies” have already created subsidiaries in EU member states, with others transferring “key products to EU-based companies” and European-owned chemical companies “repatriating products”, as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the bloc, he wrote. 

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