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What are industry trade associations saying about EU rules and regulations?

As part of its six-month long evidence gathering efforts, the CBI spoke with dozens of trade associations to get their views on the future of the rules that will govern the UK economy. The CBI would like to thank all those who contributed to its new report, Smooth operations, and has published a selection of the trade associations’ responses to our new report below:


Paul Everitt, ADS Chief Executive, said:

"The UK’s aerospace industry made remaining within the European Aviation Safety Agency and the European Chemicals Agency its highest priorities for the Brexit negotiations.

"Remaining within these globally recognised regulatory regimes is essential for our national competitiveness and to access international markets. In the coming months, it is important UK and EU negotiators adopt a pragmatic approach and prioritise jobs and prosperity."



Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said:

“We welcome the findings of CBI’s latest report, which align with UK automotive Brexit priorities. Our industry, like the many others which inputted to the report, is deeply integrated with Europe. Our success depends not only on mutual free and frictionless trade, but also on shared regulation allowing us to sell vehicles and components without restriction anywhere in the EU. Convergence with EU regulation governing everything from safety and emissions to data and intellectual property will be essential if we are to safeguard future growth, investment and consumer choice. In particular, maintaining the validity of vehicle type approvals issued in the UK and the UK's ongoing right to issue these approvals is a critical priority.”



Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), said:

"Aviation is a global industry that benefits from global agreements and regulations on issues like safety and security.

"With the EU currently one of the world’s dominant players in aviation, in part thanks to UK’s expertise and contributions to the European Aviation Safety Agency, maintaining regulatory alignment will benefit the industry and, ultimately, consumers by keeping regulatory costs down."

Keith Glatz, Vice-President for International Affairs at Airlines for America, stated: 

"Continued UK participation in EASA is critical post-Brexit.   First, safety is the industry’s number 1 priority and EASA has played a key role in promoting aviation safety in Europe since its foundation. 

"Second, the UK is a significant contributor to the work of EASA and its departure would reduce the bandwidth of the organization in terms of technical and policy expertise. 

"Finally, the UK’s departure would force it to create new national aviation safety oversight infrastructure and regime. This will take significant time and resources and would be a 'reinventing the wheel exercise' that could simply be avoided by remaining within the EASA family.  

"Of course, there are political obstacles but we would hope the parties involved will forge a mutually acceptable compromise given the importance of safety to the industry and general public."



Steve Elliott, Chief Executive, Chemical Industries Association, said:

"Remaining as close as possible to EU chemicals regulation is not only essential for the sector, but for every manufacturer in order to ensure continued access to the marketplace.

"The highly integrated nature of the sector and the manufacturing supply chains that it feeds into means that the greater the risk of divergence from the EU chemicals regulatory framework the greater the disruption and cost to businesses.

"To continue trading efficiently with the UK’s biggest market, it is vital that the EU and UK respond to one set of regulations."



Brian Berry, Chief Executive, Federation of Master Builders, said:

"It is vital for the UK construction industry that the transition through Brexit is as smooth as possible.

"Whether it is continuity in health and safety regulation or the stability of the UK construction manufacturing industry, in key areas ongoing alignment of regulation will be important to our sector.

"The CBI is quite right to place this strong emphasis on stability and continuity and the FMB is supportive of this."

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive, Build UK, said:

"A consistent regulations and standards environment across the EU will be critical to the construction industry’s ability to deliver the UK’s infrastructure and housing needs.

"Build UK supports the CBI’s calls for a ‘jobs-first’ focus to the UK’s regulatory regime to avoid costly changes which would have substantial consequences throughout the construction industry."

Peter Caplehorn, Deputy Chief Executive and Policy Director at the Construction Products Association, said:

"The products manufacturing sub-sector of the construction industry faces the most significant impact if regulatory alignment with the EU is not maintained.  Any divergence leading to the UK creating its own standards could result in manufacturers having to design, produce and test to two different standard levels to trade in both the UK and the EU, adding a huge expense to businesses.  

"Furthermore, without alignment, our £56 billion UK industry risks being unable to sell not only into the EU market but a growing number of other markets as well which choose to use the same EU standards methodology. We’re therefore pleased that the CBI is helping us to inform and challenge government on this matter."



Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said:

"In order to keep costs down for UK customers and businesses, maintain security of supply and meet our climate targets it will be essential for the future EU-UK agreement to maintain a close trading relationship in energy.

"The Internal Energy Market is a collaborative project with a long-term vision. It has delivered clear benefits to EU and UK customers and is vital in supporting the Single Energy Market on the Island of Ireland.  

"This is why Energy UK is leading calls for a comprehensive Energy and Climate chapter as part of the future agreement, advocating close collaboration and alignment."


Life sciences

Mike Thompson, CEO of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said:

"Every month, 45 million packs of medicines move from the UK to the EU, with 37 million coming the other way. As we look to the next phase of the negotiations, it’s now critical that both sides prioritise patient safety. 

"Making sure the supply of medicines is uninterrupted is essential to ensure patients in the UK and EU can get the medicines they need from day one of Brexit. Therefore, the best way to safeguard patient safety and protect public health in the UK and EU is to ensure we continue to cooperate on the regulation, trade and supply of medicines as the UK leaves the EU."

Steve Bates, CEO of the BioIndustry Association, said:

"It is vital that regulatory alignment for medicines is a priority in the Brexit negotiations. This is imperative to protect public health by ensuring that the supply chain, from discovery and development to reaching patients on both sides of the channel, is not disrupted."



The CBI's overall message, that the costs of diverging from EU rules and regulations strongly outweigh benefits, reflects the views of SMEs in the supply chain, the Engineering and Machinery Alliance says.

EAMA Secretary Jack Semple said:

"Very welcome is the way that government has been galvanising itself to support British industry and exporters in recent years. That must continue, regardless of the terms of Brexit. However, the new efforts serve to contrast with the damaging lack of support and urgency over very many years, which firms believe has little to do with the EU and is very much a UK issue.

"The CBI report highlights the risk of stalling a resurgence in UK manufacturing, with huge impact on employment and wealth creation. SMEs mostly see continued close alignment to EU rules and regulations as hugely important and the CBI's report details why that is the case."


Professional services

Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), said:

"As the UK edges closer to our departure from the European Union, accountancy and financial services professionals are clear that mutual market access and mutual recognition of professional qualifications between the UK and EU are vital to the continued success and stability of the profession in the future.

"The ability of accountancy professionals to provide services on a cross-border basis is underpinned by the mutual recognition of Member States’ professional bodies and standards of conduct.

"The absence of an agreement between the UK and EU in these areas would place undue burdens on both UK and EU27 businesses working across borders which could increase costs, reduce profitability and impact jobs.

"Most of all, as the negotiations progress in the months ahead, clarity is what’s needed. We need clear guidance on what is happening when – this need is what ACCA members tell us time and time again".



Laura Wright, Head of International Policy, Rail Delivery Group, said:

"To allow markets for rail to be as open as possible, and smooth cross-border passenger and freight transport, railway standards are increasingly set at a European or global level. Adhering to these standards means suppliers only need to make one product for both domestic and EU markets, increasing economies of scale and competitiveness.

"If the UK were to stop applying European standards, there would be implications for international routes and rail supply chain imports and exports."



Stephen Hurley, Senior Lawyer and Head of Brexit Planning at BT Group, said:

"The current UK regulatory framework, which is grounded in EU law and ensures an important role for the EU Commission, has worked well for the most part and has been successful in delivering substantial investment and effective competition in the UK across a wide variety of markets.

"The current regime also enables UK operators and customers to benefit from the Single Market and we therefore think ongoing UK/EU alignment is important post-Brexit. In any event, a key element of the sector’s future success will be a stable and proportionate regulatory environment with appropriate checks and balances."



Nick Pollard, CEO of Cory Environmental, said:

"Brexit offers the opportunity for UK policy-makers to focus on avoiding the most damaging forms of waste and prioritise recycling the waste that most improves our carbon footprint.

"Under such a renewed focus the UK should prioritise energy from waste (EfW), turning residual waste into as much energy as possible to reduce our use of natural virgin resources.

"Ultimately, with the present and forecasted significant EfW capacity gap it is critical that future regulation provides the clarity and confidence which our industry needs, and contributes to the standalone energy security that our nation requires."


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