Post-Brexit EU chemical alignment mechanism urgently needed—NGOs


Several UK-based NGOs have urged the government to bring in a mechanism that would match EU controls on chemicals to ensure the country does not become a post-Brexit ‘dumping ground’ for substances that do not comply with single market rules.

In a 7 October letter to George Eustice MP, secretary of state at Defra, ten NGOs including CHEM Trust and Breast Cancer UK, said the government had already acknowledged chemical dumping is a possibility and they emphasised that an alignment mechanism is the only preventative measure.

In June, Defra reiterated that the UK was not seeking associate membership of Echa or participation in EU REACH, despite persistent calls from industry and NGOs for full compliance with Union law to secure market access.

The UK will activate its independent REACH regime from 1 January when the Brexit transition period ends.

The current framework for this, the NGO letter says, will “fail to deliver” on the government’s promise to provide a better system than EU REACH.

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Chemical Watch, 9 October 2020