With its more than 1,400 environmental law experts, the leading membership organization for environmental law in the United Kingdom (UK Environmental Law Association) has taken a clear position in regard Brexit. It recommends that the government continue to adhere to the standards established in EU environmental law. In its report, Brexit and Environmental Law, the authors show how important cooperation with organizations like the ECHA is and illustrate the results of a failure in case cooperation is not legally possible.
Despite the clear position of the legal experts, some voices in the government favor Great Britain taking its own path. Above all, Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, sees advantages in that approach. He gave an example in a report of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC): Chemicals prohibited in the EU could be manufactured in Great Britain and then sold on the U.S. Market (see page18)
The unsure legal situation has moved the Only Representative Organisation (ORO) to create a plan and publish a document with recommendations for Only Representatives and importers. The ORO plays out two possible scenarios and offers corresponding alternatives. The first would apply in the event of a hard Brexit: Existing registrations would then be invalid as of March 2019. The second would apply if an agreement is reached within the negotiation period, and Great-Britain creates its own law that is similar to REACH.
The German Chemical Industry Association provides a current overview (November 2017, only in German) of the potential effects of Brexit on the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
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