The Chancellor has said some businesses will lose out as we de-couple from EU regulations, but making UK trade with Europe more difficult and complex could cause real problems for manufacturing industries across Teesside. If the Tories push ahead in this way it could put thousands of jobs in jeopardy. It just doesn’t make sense.
At the end of the transitional period in December 2020, the UK will no longer be a member of the EU REACH regulations hitherto applicable to the UK including of course our Chemical and Process sector. So our UK based operations will have to have partner up with companies in Europe to register their products with them if they are to continue to trade with the EU. Hopefully we will keep to the same high standards around safety after December, but these additional administrative burdens are going to be extremely costly and risk undermining the profitability of UK businesses that already work to very tight margins. If, on top of that particular cost, tariffs are then added to raw materials coming in and finished products going out, that will only compound the problem. This is serious stuff for Teesside. NEPIC- the North East Process Industry Cluster- say that some 8,000 people are directly employed in the sector in the North East, with average salaries of £40,000 per annum are way above the regional average, and that those figures rises to 32,000 workers when down stream operations are taken into consideration. It’s not hard to work out that multi national companies based in and around Teesside are not going to sit back and see their profit margins disappear. If additional costs and tariffs can be avoided by concentrating on operations in other jurisdictions then that is what they will do. The tens of thousands of workers and their families across Teesside and beyond deserve guarantees and assurances from this rampant Tory Government that in their zeal and determination to sever ties with the EU it will not cost those workers their jobs.

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