UK Chemical Industry: Regulatory Divergence

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:52 pm on 26th February 2020.

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Photo of Dave Doogan Dave Doogan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Agriculture and Rural Affairs) 4:52 pm, 26th February 2020

Indeed. I am not here to defend or uphold the commercial decisions of INEOS, but what the industry more generally needs at this minute is clarity and certainty from Government, as far as that is possible. I look forward to the Minister explaining how the Government will give the industry the confidence and certainty that will enable them to invest in plants in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Those plants’ return on investment may take decades, and it is extremely important that we give them every opportunity to invest in infrastructure and jobs, with the attendant benefits that those bring to our communities.

Over and above the material contemporary considerations of the chemical industry, this issue is important for the livelihoods of many people in Scotland and in my constituency of Angus. Of course, industrial production of chemicals first began in Scotland, with the industrial production of bleach just north of Glasgow. We have moved a long way in the intervening 150 years, and I would hate for us to start moving back as a consequence of Brexit.