The Chemical Industries Association’s (CIA) Britain at work manifesto calls on the next Government to adopt its proposals to help shield the UK’s biggest manufacturing export industry from Brexit turbulence. Anna Tobin reports
The CIA, which represents the UK’s largest manufacturing exporters, the chemical and pharmaceuticical sector, has set out a series of proposals for the next Government to adopt to help the industry become the leader in delivering sustainable growth. The CIA Manifesto contains a series of policy proposals covering innovation, education and skills, energy and climate change, the regions and international trade. These include:
Greater cooperation with Government
With Brexit on the horizon, the CIA states that there has never been a more critical time for the UK chemical industry and Government, alongside all key stakeholders, to come together to help deliver growth.
Developing a new EU relationship
The next Government must speedily clarify what happens next and by when. The CIA Manifesto states: “The chemical industry in the UK and in Europe needs a relationship with the European Union that delivers: frictionless, free trade; regulatory consistency and alignment; and access to skilled people.”
Policy and regulation
When considering the UK’s new relationship with the EU and the rest of the world, the CIA Manifesto urges the next Government to create coordinated, cross-department, national policies that balance risk and hazard and, at the same time, embrace innovation, through a reliance on sound scientific assessment and robust evidence. It also calls on the new Government to ensure that “the recognised expertise and experience of our key regulatory bodies, influential in securing well-balanced European and international regulatory decisions, isn’t compromised by resource constraints.”
When the UK leaves the EU, the CIA Manifesto calls on the next Government to address these points:
- The continuation of existing FTAs must be delivered. Key export markets such as Canada and Japan have indicated that they are not willing to roll over existing EU text but plan to review agreements after considering the detail of the future UK/EU relationship.
- The UK will look to introduce a sovereign Trade Remedies regime following EU exit. We look to work with Government to ensure that importers respect global trade rules and where they don’t UK producers must have confidence that the UK authority will quickly impose strong measures that insulate UK workers and employers against harm.
- The UK sector is a strong partner in the European chemical sector and products ‘cumulate’ value as the finished product is developed. The value of the UK economic input must be viewed as an integral part of EU value for the purpose of conferring economic origin. Failure to do so will likely see UK content stripped out of European supply chains.