My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I know he has a good relationship with the chemical industry in the north-east and has spoken many times on this subject and in support of people who work in the industry. I will come on to make the point that he touches on in more detail.
REACH regulations protect human health and the environment. In chemical regulation, the high standards for chemicals used in our manufacturing also sustain the reputation that encourages people around the world to buy British. Before the current Prime Minister took over, the Government indicated a willingness to negotiate associate membership of REACH, and that is still the preferred option for the industry. The system delivers assurance to the industry and its downstream operations, including our entire manufacturing sector, all of which uses chemicals at some stage of production.