UK manufacturers want to comply with EU environmental legislation.
Post-Brexit Britain should fully transpose existing EU-led environmental legislation, at least in the short to mid-term, according to a new report out today from EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.
Significant support from manufacturing
The report – Britain and the EU: manufacturing an orderly exit – points to strong support amongst manufacturers for the UK to continue complying with EU environmental regulation and directives. More than 75% say that the UK should adopt EU waste directives and, even when it comes to EU chemicals legislation, less than a quarter of firms want to see it dropped.
The report says that substantial progress in environmental standards has been made and manufacturers are keen to see this continue. With EU environmental regulations and directives already deeply embedded within UK businesses, firms are taking a pragmatic view. They are concerned about the cost and disruption of repealing and replacing them with UK-owned legislation.
In calling for EU legislation to be ‘grandfathered’ across to the UK, the report also makes the case for protecting the significant investments businesses have made. In areas such as air quality, UK manufacturers have made considerable headway and substantial investments to ensure compliance with the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive.
With REACH registration pending in 2018, the report also calls for swift clarity on how the UK Government intends to proceed with REACH (Restriction, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) – a major piece of chemicals legislation that is already a considerable way through implementation.
While recognising the benefits of clarity, certainty and consistency, the report says that in the longer-term manufacturers see a clear opportunity to cut environmental red tape and explore an alternative UK-specific approach. This should aim to streamline environmental regulation, protect manufacturers from supply and price volatility, drive innovation and reduce harmful emissions.
According to Claire Jakobsson, Head of Energy and Environment Policy at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation: ….It’s also vital that we ensure Britain remains forward thinking and innovative and doesn’t see its environmental ambitions and responsibilities diminished because of leaving the EU. 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 full report – Britain and the EU: manufacturing an orderly exit – can be downloaded here.
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