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Exiting the European Union (Consumer Protection)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:28 pm on 25th February 2019.

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Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 6:28 pm, 25th February 2019

I beg to move,

That the draft REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, which were laid before this House on 5 February, be approved.

Madam Deputy Speaker, have you ever considered what life was like before you became a Member of Parliament? Well, I never had a dream come true until I was elected to Parliament, but if I take myself back to when I was at high school, I have to admit that my love of chemistry started when I was very young. I was very much inspired by colours, and it was only through chemicals that we had colours—whether it was the colour blue or a range of colours that appealed to us all. This got me excited in chemistry. Moving on a little bit further, I eventually ended up doing a PhD in chemistry. Little did I know that 30 years later, I would be here putting regulations in place.

Why do chemicals matter? Chemicals matter because they are not only part of our second-biggest manufacturing industry but critical to so many of the elements that we have around us, whether in the oil in people’s watches, in paint, or in the different chemicals that are applied not only in pharmaceuticals but in a wide variety of things that we just take for granted. They are even a key part of fireworks, because without chemicals—the inorganic chemicals, in particular—we would not get the wide range of colours. I do not know if you were here, Madam Deputy Speaker, on the night when we had chemicals in fireworks being exploded above Big Ben—that special evening when we were going to reach for the stars, but fortunately did not bring the House down.