Readers' letters: Brexit proves costly for British industry

The chemicals sector is facing a staggering £2bn hit of post-Brexit red tape as the UK sets up its own regulatory regime, twice the cost of initial industry estimates.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th July 2022, 7:00 am

UK companies previously spent £500m complying with the Brussels regime over the past decade, with access to 27 countries.

Now, a government impact assessment has put the central estimate for the costs of registering chemicals on a new UK database, known as UK Reach, which often duplicates existing registrations with the EU, at £2bn.

The UK regime would be far more costly than the EU Reach system.

While Tory leadership hopefuls, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, have promised to review all retained EU law and scrap excessively onerous rules, replacing it with homegrown UK regulation is proving more costly and disruptive.

The soaring cost of UK Reach emerged after the Treasury admitted last week that the UK’s Brexit divorce bill could rise to £42.5bn — up to £7.5bn higher than initially estimated.

A post-Brexit bonanza eludes both the City and the EU, and the UK will in the medium term be 4 per cent poorer than if it had stayed in the EU, according to the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

This is set to knock £80bn off the UK’s gross domestic product and about £40bn off exchequer receipts.

The promised benefits of Brexit have, hardly unsurprisingly, failed to materialise six years after the Leave vote, while new border controls have hampered trade and been blamed for contributing to travel chaos at the port of Dover.

The gift of Brexit just keeps on giving, but not in the way those advocating Leave vowed would happen.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh.

SNP heading for a nuclear power U-turn

Indications that at last the nationalists in Scotland are edging towards another major U-turn and that nuclear power is back on the menu, are encouraging.

The fact that it is the only possible logical source of plentiful and reliable clean energy that will keep our people alive makes it even more so.

Past indications that the SNP have the reverse Midas touch and whatever decisions they make always tend to be the wrong ones and taken for the wrong reasons can be laid aside in this case.

Now they only have to find the cash to catch up with everyone else and convince their Green supporters but it is noticeable that even these parties in other countries have accepted the inevitable.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Help us to care for the unpaid carers

Unpaid carers in Scotland are spending hundreds of hours each month looking after sick or disabled family members, often with little-to-no support.

Many are being pushed to exhaustion and burnout as a result.

Carers Scotland’s annual State of Caring seeks to capture these experiences and give a voice to carers.

It covers a wide range of themes, including carers’ finances, health, wellbeing and more – helping to build a picture of unpaid caring and highlighting the biggest challenges facing our carer population today.

We’d encourage as many carers as possible across Scotland to complete the survey and help generate the evidence we need to make a case for change to both the Scottish and UK Governments.

Fiona Collie, Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Carers Scotland

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