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2nd Day

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:15 pm on 11th September 2017.

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Photo of Mary Creagh Mary Creagh Chair, Environmental Audit Committee, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee 8:15 pm, 11th September 2017

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. We will not simply be able to cut and paste chemicals measures. REACH is the big regulation on registering, evaluating and authorising chemicals. It protects the public and the environment from hazardous substances and it is vital to British jobs, growth and investment. Our chemical industry is the second largest exporter to the EU after cars, selling £15 billion of chemical exports to the EU every year. Leaving REACH could cause market freeze and supply chain disruption to the industry. The Environmental Audit Committee heard from techUK and the defence industries how incredibly concerned they were about that. One in five UK chemicals companies represented by the Chemical Business Association are not waiting for regulatory certainty from the Government, and are already investigating opportunities to set up shop in other EU countries, harming jobs, investment and growth in this country.

The Bill does not protect the citizen and it does not incorporate either the principle of EU law that the polluter pays or the precautionary principle. For those reasons, for the vast destruction of our environmental and social rights, I shall vote against the Bill.