Uncertainty for future of UK chemicals regulation

For chemical companies, postponement of the 11 December vote on the draft Brexit agreement with the European Union means that certainty over the future of the REACH legislation in the UK has been deferred.

The vote was to decide the future of the UK’s departure from the EU, or Brexit, which is officially set to take place on the 29 March 2019. The government now enters a period of consideration towards a revised voting date, the latest date for which has been reported in the UK media as the 21 January 2019.

Uncertainty therefore continues and possible scenarios include a UK Parliament approval of the draft agreement following a renegotiation or clarification of the existing proposal, a general election, a second referendum on EU membership, a unilateral withdrawal of Article 50 by the United Kingdom, or the United Kingdom leaving the EU without a deal.

Should the draft agreement be approved, the UK will enter into a two-year transition period after the 29 March, during which time current EU chemicals regulation will remain in effect. In the event of a no-deal Brexit chemical manufacturers, importers and downstream users may need to take action to ensure continued regulatory compliance in the UK and EU after the 29 March 2019.

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