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Manufacturers wary of repealing EU directives

Manufacturers want to see existing EU-led environmental legislation fully transposed when Britain exits the EU.

According to a report from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, and law firm Squire Patton Boggs, only one quarter of 2,000 firms in a survey say the UK should not adopt EU waste or chemicals directives.

Despite that, respondents said there was a longer-term opportunity for cutting environmental red tape and exploring a UK-specific approach.

The findings include:

  • Environmental regulations and directives are already deeply embedded – industry flags concerns over cost and disruption of repealing and replacing
  • There is a danger of undermining investments, and the sheer scale of EU-led environmental legislation means full transposition is the only practical short-term option
  • With REACH registration pending in 2018, industry needs swift clarity on how the UK intends to proceed
  • Manufacturers see a clear opportunity to cut red tape and explore an alternative UK-specific approach
  • Supporting and protecting industry will be critical to ensuring that post-Brexit Britain is a success

Claire Jakobsson, head of energy and environment policy at EEF, said a mass repeal of EU laws and regulations would be costly and disruptive, and would seriously undermine investment.

“In the short-term we want the Government to provide regulatory and policy certainty in this important arena. But in the longer term there is clearly an opportunity to pull back from EU regulation where it does not work for the UK.

“The Government must adopt a rational approach to negotiations and deliver a carefully engineered Brexit that supports investment, ensures business certainty and allows manufacturers to play a full and unfettered role in helping the UK to achieve post-EU economic and global trading success.”

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