The chemical industry, which supports thousands of jobs across Teesside, will face post-Brexit costs of £1 billion per year unless the Government takes action to align the UK’s chemical regulatory regime with that of the EU.
The industry is the UK’s biggest manufacturing exporter – with 60% of its total exports destined for EU member states. Industry leaders have raised concerns that the chemical annex of the Brexit trade deal fails to account for UK access to the EU’s regulatory database (EU REACH), putting British firms at a severe disadvantage.
Alex Cunningham, Labour MP for Stockton North, has raised the need for alignment with EU trading partners and REACH regulations in Parliament numerous times.
Today, Alex pushed the Government again to address these debilitating additional costs, but the Tory Minister failed to engage with the issue at all.
“The Tory Government needs to take action to address this issue now. We have already lost over 12,500 extra jobs on Teesside in the last ten months – we cannot afford to lose any more.
“The Government has known about this issue for years – I have raised it, my Labour colleagues have raised it, and so have industry leaders – so the Minister’s platitudes today are worthless. He clearly had no idea what he was talking about, but that is no excuse to just kick the can down the road again.
“Our industries have already been destabilised by the Brexit transition and pandemic restrictions. They need support and reassurance and they need it now. Our area cannot afford to lose any more good jobs as a result of reckless Tory incompetence.”