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Red tape for firms is price of leaving "anti-science" EU, Gove says

Thu, 1st Oct 2020 10:53

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Britain should celebrate its
looming break from the "anti-science and anti-innovation"
approach of the European Union even if it costs its industry
more in red tape, the government's Brexit supremo Michael Gove
said on Thursday.

Gove was asked in the House of Commons by an opposition
lawmaker why companies in the chemicals industry should have to
stump up an extra 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in the midst
of an economic crisis to duplicate regulation that it already
has with the EU.

Gove, the minister handling Brexit divorce issues for
Britain and one of the leading advocates for the break with
Brussels, said extra red tape was the price of securing autonomy
and independence to become more competitive in the future.

"It's an inevitable consequence of leaving the European
Union Single Market and Customs Union and freeing ourselves from
the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union
that we do have to have our own regulatory systems in place," he
said.

"One of the great prizes of leaving the European Union is
that when it comes to life sciences and other areas we will be
free from the often anti-science and anti-innovation approach
that the EU has had hitherto."

Britain's chemicals industry, which includes companies such
as Ineos, Johnson Matthey, Croda and Synthomer, is bound to the
EU by an especially dense web of laws and safety standards, and
an EU products registry called Reach.

The lawmaker asking the question, Labour's Hilary Benn, said
his parliamentary select committee had been told by
representatives of the industry that the cost of registering all
chemicals under a new UK Reach system would be around 1 billion
pounds.
($1 = 0.7791 pounds)
(Reporting by William James and Kate Holton; editing by Guy
Faulconbridge)

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