EU, UK chems plea again for ‘disastrous’ no-deal Brexit to be avoided

March 13, 2019

UK and EU chemicals companies reiterated on Monday that a no-deal Brexit would have “disastrous consequences” for the EU-wide supply chains created in the last four decades.

Among other signatories, the statement published on Monday was signed by both the EU-wide chemicals trade group Cefic and its peer in the UK, the CIA.

The two trade groups said that small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are already experiencing cash flow issues due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

“Value chains have become so closely intertwined that a no-deal Brexit will lead to chaos. Delays at customs and disrupted supply of all goods, including foods and medicines, will affect communities and incur significant costs for businesses and governments alike,” the trade groups said.

“In many areas, businesses do not yet know the trading conditions they will be operating in and smaller companies are already experiencing cash flow problems in the face of this uncertainty. Jobs are at risk as businesses might have to close down or downsize, unable to deal with disruptions.”

Cefic and CIA added that “as a matter of urgency” the EU and the UK should secure the approval of the Withdrawal Agreement and the transition period, in order to give businesses time to adapt to the new reality and allow the two parties to “prepare and agree” on their future relationship.

However, after a large defeat in January in the UK’s House of Commons, the government’s Withdrawal Agreement would still lack the necessary support in Parliament to be passed in a planned vote on 12 March.

If the Agreement is not passed, UK members of parliament (MPs) are due to vote on 13 March about the possibility to rule out a no-deal Brexit, in which case another vote would mostly likely be held to apply for an extension of the current proceedings.

“With less than 20 days remaining [to Brexit day], European businesses are calling for a no-deal Brexit to be averted immediately to avoid major disruption of supply chains across all industries and to protect jobs,” said the trade groups.

“The undersigned organisations reiterate that a no-deal Brexit will have disastrous consequences for businesses and citizens on both sides of the [English] Channel.”

Apart from Cefic and the CIA, other signatories included the wider trade group BusinessEurope, the automobile trade group ACEA, Eurelectric, FoodDrinkEurope, FuelsEurope, the European Association of Metals (Eurometaux), the European Steel Association (Eurofer), the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EuroChambres), EuroCommerce and European Aluminium.

Source: ICIS News

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