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Tom Bowtell, CEO of the British Coatings Federation, praised the Rt Hon Jack Straw MP’s response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech supporting further deregulation in Europe, specifically highlighting some of the challenges REACH is giving to UK companies.
"As a Federation, we have been raising the visibility of how REACH is potentially affecting the competitiveness of the UK Coatings, Inks and Wallcoverings Industries, by writing to over 100 MPs and 50 MEPs to encourage MPs to write to the Business Minister Michael Fallon MP who heads up the UK Business Task Force aimed at cutting red tape” said Bowtell.
In a parallel move during the summer, BCF contacted Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, who has a member of the Federation in his constituency, to help fight to keep a raw material crucial to Wallpaper manufacturing available. It is under threat due to REACH and could result in the decimation of the UK wallcovering industry.
This is the transcript following the Prime Minister’s speech in the House on 28th October :
Mr Jack Straw (Blackburn) (Lab): I welcome the Prime Minister’s efforts in respect of deregulation. May I ask him to pay particular attention to the REACH—registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals—regulation? As I have explained to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that regulation is likely to have a deleterious effect on one company in my constituency, which does not wish to be named for obvious reasons. We all support health and safety measures in respect of chemicals, but will he look at the over-elaborate enforcement of the regulation, which is unnecessary and could do gratuitous damage to companies in this country?
The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman makes a good point. That issue is covered in the excellent document by the business taskforce.
This caps a good couple of weeks for our combined lobbying activities, following BCF member Brian Norton from Indestructible Paints visit to Number 10 Downing Street last week to impress on the PM’s office the challenges faced by SMEs in particular, who voted REACH the most burdensome regulation in the EU. The visit was arranged by the EEF, who together with BCF are part of the Cross Industry Group on REACH.