The danger of Britain crashing out of the EU with no agreement has not been averted and there is still risk of a “serious impact” on chemical supply chains, the head of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) has said.
Utz Tillmann’s comments come after the UK and the EU agreed a draft Brexit withdrawal agreement last week. While he welcomed this, Mr Tillmann stressed that until the deal is ratified by both UK and EU parliaments “there is no all-clear”.
Without ratification, he said, there is no transitional phase, and it is in this period that negotiations that are important for the industry “only really start”.
The 585-page draft Brexit document sets out clauses of Britain’s exit but does not include finer detail around chemicals legislation.
Mr Tillmann called for a “concrete arrangement” for the future relationship and said industry will only see this as “a good agreement” if tariff barriers are avoided and the same standards for product and chemical safety are maintained.
These should be included in the guidelines for the future relationship that the European Commission expects to adopt next week, he added.
The warning on Brexit is VCI’s second in less than three months. At the end of August it urged companies to prepare for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit – a scenario it said would bring chemicals trading between the UK and EU to a “complete standstill”.
Germany and the UK are major trading partners. German chemical exports to the UK totalled €11.2bn in 2017, while imports from the UK were €6.5bn, the VCI said.
Last week, Cefic and UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) welcomed the draft Brexit deal, but said the UK’s desired ‘associate membership’ of Echa, and what this entails in terms of access to data, still needs to be agreed.
Source: Chemical Watch
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?