Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, is warning of the dangers of a No Deal Brexit to Teesside’s local chemical industries and is calling on the Government to explore alternative arrangements to safeguard the industry.
Alex’s call follows discussions with the Chemical Industries Association who have warned that No Deal Brexit could be part of a “perfect storm” of energy related costs that, if left unchecked, could result in significant damage to both the chemical and energy intensive industries. Apart from the energy challenge, under a No Deal Brexit scenario, chemical industries would also be forced to re-register with the UK version of the EU chemical regulatory body – REACH – after just two years to allow continued trading within the EU bloc, but at significant cost which could impact the industry’s international competitiveness, and put jobs and customer prices at risk.
An excess of £550 million has already been invested in EU-REACH registrations by UK industries. The UK chemical and pharmaceutical industry adds £18 billion to the UK economy, and support 500,000 direct jobs – with many more through the supply chain.
Energy and chemical regulation are just two areas affecting the future of the UK’s top manufacturing exporter.
Alex, who has raised the threats to Teesside industry regularly in the Commons, said:
The warnings from the Chemical Industries Association is clear – a No Deal Brexit will put local chemical industries at risk, and the Government needs a real strategy to safeguard the industry, and the jobs it creates.
Whilst the Government has listened to concerns form the chemical industry and myself about the need to retain the REACH regulations, it has simply not gone far enough in ensuring UK based industries will remain a part of REACH – and the No Deal outcome the Government is edging towards will significantly, and negatively, impact Tees-based chemical industries.
The Government need to focus on a Brexit Deal that protects jobs and industry – and that’s what I’ll continue to be pushing for.