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Brexit

Outside of REACH the UK risks regulatory divergence

The UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, and through Brexit the UK government has said that it wants to achieve some level of regulatory autonomy outside EU laws and institutions. Regarding chemicals policy, its preferred outcome is to retain ‘associate membership’ of the EU chemicals agency, Echa. We believe this is feasible, if [...]

Today, the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) published a new report on ‘Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life‘ following its inquiry into the subject. The EAC declare that “current regulation does not account for the cocktail of chemicals we are exposed to”, and that hazardous chemicals are now “ubiquitous in humans and the environment”. The committee [...]

On 4th June CHEM Trust’s lawyers Leigh Day sent a legal letter to the UK Government, arguing that their proposed post-Brexit rules for chemicals and pesticides were not a proper reflection of the EU laws they were supposed to be copying. These laws would enter into force in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Since [...]

Following a legal letter from Leigh Day on behalf of CHEM Trust, the UK Government have announced today that they will re-instate a ban on pesticides with endocrine (hormone) disrupting properties in their no-deal Brexit laws. The Government are claiming this is a drafting error, yet this European ban on endocrine disrupting pesticides has been [...]

The UK Government has claimed that it would not weaken EU environmental laws when transferring them into UK law in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with Secretary of State Michael Gove stating that “We will deliver a Green Brexit, where environmental standards are not only maintained but enhanced“. However, CHEM Trust’s analysis is that [...]

On Tuesday this week CHEM Trust gave oral evidence to the UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) inquiry into “Toxic chemicals in everyday life”. We very much welcome this inquiry, as the main chemical exposures for humans and wildlife come from emissions from everyday products, such as furniture and food packaging. Some of these exposures [...]

Yesterday evening the UK House of Commons debated and narrowly approved the REACH Statutory Instrument (SI) which attempts to copy the EU’s REACH chemicals regulation into domestic UK law and create a new UK Chemicals Agency in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Heavy criticisms of the SI were made from a cross-party group of [...]

Resources to protect the UK public from hidden chemicals in consumer products are shockingly low, according to new data obtained through Freedom of Information requests. Campaigners at environmental charity CHEM Trust asked 164 councils across the UK [1] how much they spent on monitoring consumer products for hazardous chemicals in the past five years, how many products [...]

Today saw the publication of a draft Political Declaration, setting out the framework for a future relationship between the EU and the UK. The declaration, which will guide negotiations following the UK’s departure from the EU, includes a commitment to ‘explore the possibility of co-operation of the UK with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)‘, and states that [...]

Every day people across the UK and Europe buy millions of products, taking for granted that these goods are safe, free from illegal levels of hazardous chemicals. Authorities across the EU test products like toys, to check if laws are being broken, and if they are then they notify an EU-wide safety service, RAPEX. For [...]