UK Chemical Industry: Regulatory Divergence

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:07 pm on 26th February 2020.

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Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 5:07 pm, 26th February 2020

As a lawyer, I tell the hon. Gentleman that that is an extremely long and complicated question, to which I will endeavour to provide some of the answers, but not all, because, as he knows, it is a live negotiating situation. I recognise that that brings uncertainty for business—I really do—which is uncomfortable for many of us, but it is important that the country voted to leave the EU and through various—[Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman has been here for the last few years, as I have.

Through various emanations, we have reached a position where we are definitely leaving the single market and the customs union, and we will no longer participate in the ECHA or the EU regulatory framework for chemicals. I will set out what the Government’s position is in the immediate future. I ask the hon. Gentleman to accept that we do not have all the answers, but I emphasise that my door, and the door of the Minister with responsibility for the issue, will be open as we go through the negotiations this year.