We expect high standards of human health and environmental protection to continue in the UK. Formal mechanisms to ensure the best scientific evidence and advice informs decision-making for chemicals policy must be in place as soon as possible in 2021.
We encourage active cooperation between the UK and EU on chemicals in terms of data sharing and technical cooperation.
Following EU departure, the impact on the future of chemicals regulation in the UK must be considered, alongside the possibility of divergence from EU regulations. Any divergence from EU regulations must be based on a harmonised evidence-base, put safety first and placed in the context of a longer-term UK chemicals strategy.
RSC briefing - Regulatory Divergence in the Chemicals Sector
The House of Lords share our concerns regarding a UK Approach to REACH in a no deal Brexit
We briefed peers ahead of the House of Lords debate on 26 March, on the establishment of UK REACH regulations via secondary legislative changes to the EU withdrawal bill.
The Royal Society of Chemistry calls for chemicals regulation that achieves a balance between nurturing innovation, protecting the environment and human health, and enabling the UK to trade internationally. Should a no deal scenario arise, we call for pragmatic and evidence-based decision-making that is harmonised with EU outcomes in chemicals regulation.
We have three primary asks regarding the additional responsibilities being transferred to the Health and Safety Executive. We ask that the UK government:
- Set out its plans to ensure HSE has adequate scientific capability to take on increased decision-making responsibilities and act as the national regulator.
- Clarify how the UK will seek to aid harmonisation of its scientific evidence base with the EU in a no deal scenario.
- Set out plans for a fully transparent decision-making process, guided by clear principles.
Briefing to the House of Lords debate on the REACH SI 26 March 2019
Chemicals Regulation and EU Exit: the need for close partnerships
We provided input into the House of Lords EU Exit Energy & Environment Select Committee in the form of two letters into their inquiry on ‘The Future of Chemical Management and Regulation Post EU Exit’. These two letters cover our positions on chemicals regulation as we leave the European Union.
Scientists and good science are at the heart of chemicals regulation.
We call for regulation that achieves a balance between nurturing innovation, protecting the environment and human health, and enables international trade. In particular, we call for
- Uninterrupted and continued full participation of UK nominated scientific experts in the work of all ECHA’s scientific and technical committees and in the important scientific work of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), which underpins chemicals regulation.
- Effective and continued data sharing: to assist in harmonised decision-making for chemicals regulation.
- A future partnership in which the EU and UK work together to raise global standards for chemicals regulation.
We ask pertinent questions around data sharing, evaluation and the expert science advice mechanisms that will need to be in place going forward.
RSC Chemicals Regulation Letter 1 (August 2018)
RSC Chemicals Regulation Letter 2 (October 2018)
EU exit and Chemicals Regulation
Amongst other lines of evidence, scientific data and expertise will continue to be crucial in enabling the development and implementation of chemicals regulation.
In our briefing paper, we share the learnings from our workshop on EU exit and regulation and describe the next steps for us as we move forward, focusing on the science that underpins regulation.
Briefing and Our Next Steps
EAC Inquiry - Future of Chemicals Regulation after the EU referendum
January - October 2017
We submitted comprehensive and informative written and oral evidence to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Commission inquiry into ‘The Future of Chemicals Regulation after the EU Referendum’. We highlight that:
- The UK needs a clear, simple and enforceable regulatory framework relating to chemicals that balances the needs of research, innovation and trade with protecting citizens, wildlife and the environment;
- It is critical for the chemicals sector to establish how regulatory decisions will be made in the UK post-EU exit, including how expert scientific input will feed in and how data will continue to be accessed;
- It is vital that UK scientists continue to work actively and internationally to stay at the forefront of providing sound evidence into chemicals regulation, in the UK and globally.
Explore our evidence:
The Future of Chemicals Regulation after the EU Referendum – Written Submission (Jan 2017)
The Future of Chemicals Regulation after the EU Referendum – Oral Evidence
The Future of Chemicals Regulation after the EU Referendum – Written Submission (Oct 2017)