Technical Director Iain Nicolson participated in a round table to discuss brexit and the chemical industry. The meeting with government ministers and leaders from the chemical industry will shape some of the key points relating to strategy for Brexit negotiations and post-Brexit plans.

The chemical industry is one likely to be most affected from the move to leave the EU as it will have the same financial issues as all industries but is further challenged by safety regulations and research funding. The talks, in Grangemouth yesterday, focused heavily on REACH and the issues surrounding registering products and environmental impact. Will the UK leave REACH and form it’s own version of ECA or will we remain largely bound by the same regulations; if we leave how long before both systems start to diverge to a large degree. The talks also touched upon research funding with Horizon2020 funding and transfer-ability of other research grants already seen to be affected to the detriment of UK organisations.

One area which was not discussed was free-trade agreements and the continued implementation of 0% import duties and the free movement of goods we currently benefit from.

It was clear from the meeting that there are many, many areas for consideration and there is a long way to go before the outcomes will be clear.