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Growing Concerns On EU Market Access Post-Brexit

27 April 2018

The Chairman of the UK’s leading organisation for the chemical supply chain, the Chemical Business Association (CBA), has underlined the industry’s growing concerns about securing continued access to European Union markets post-Brexit.

Speaking to more that 1,150 members and their guests at CBA’s Annual Lunch on 25 April, the Association’s Chairman, Mottie Kessler MBE, said, “Our member surveys show a clear preference for the UK remaining part of the Single Market and Customs Union. They also show that a significant number of member companies are planning to create subsidiaries in other EU member states or have already done so.”

“The commercial rationale behind these decisions is clear,” he continued. “For companies trading with EU member states, regulatory compliance is the key to market access. Authorities in these markets decide the nature and extent of the compliance required. Compliance is non-negotiable. Failure to comply is a barrier to market access. Without market access there is no trade.”

CBA has no desire to engage with the politics of Brexit. It is focused on accurately representing the views of its member companies and offering an evidence-based position on the potential impact of the UK leaving the European Union.

Mottie Kessler said, “CBA warmly welcomed the commitment in the Prime Minister’s Mansion House speech to explore ‘associate membership’ and pay for continued access to the European Chemicals Agency and, by extension, to ensure that UK chemicals remain within the provisions of REACH and other key aspects of the industry’s existing regulatory framework.”

He added, “This, of course is an intention, not a certainty. Like most other business associations, CBA remains concerned about the on-going uncertainty and its potential impact on commercial transactions, investment, and jobs. It is already clear that some European-based companies are repatriating products from the UK to guard against the impact of Brexit.”

He concluded, “Time is short. Decisions have to be made. Our industry requires a higher level of certainty on the commercial and regulatory framework on which its future depends.”


(1) CBA represents the independent chemical supply chain. Its membership includes distributors, traders, warehouse operators, along with logistics and transport companies. CBA’s members, the majority of which are SMEs, are the main industry interface with thousands of UK downstream chemical users.

(2) CBA member companies employ more than 8,700 people. They distribute, pack, and blend over 4 million tonnes of chemicals each year with a market value of almost three billion euros. In addition, CBA’s logistics member companies handle more than four million tonnes of chemicals annually.

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