With the announcement on 24th June that the public of the UK have opted to leave the EU, there are some new challenges ahead for UK environmental policy and implementation. You may have seen recent publications from GAMBICA discussing the wider implications for the monitoring and control sector, but what does the UK’s exit mean for WEEE producers?
There are 2 main aspects that Brexit will have on environmental regulation;
1) Law and Lisbon Treaty; there are defined steps to be followed as a result of Brexit – this is a long process – 2 years are allotted but we anticipate this could be longer, maybe 5 to 10 years, to negotiate an exit strategy under Article 50 under the Treaty of Lisbon. This process has never been properly tested so our exit will be a European first! As a result, the interim period is expected to see ‘business as usual’. We still have the European Directive and Regulations and producers are broadly expected to retain their current obligations for the foreseeable future, or until environmental legislation comes up in the exit negotiations.
2) Global markets and continuing trade; As David Cameron announced on the morning of the result ’There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move, or the way our services can be sold.’
The economy has been a central part of the referendum debate and will continue to be in the subsequent negotiations. Despite the market shakeup we have just experienced, the road to recovery lies in continued trade with the rest of the world, and meeting the relevant product standards of our customers will require adherence to global regulatory requirements. Product marking, take-back, product information, and recycling will still feature where UK producers want to trade globally, and retaining common requirements is a quick win for government as they re-shape the regulatory domain.
So in summary, despite the changes, whatever your view on the EU, the WEEE Regulations will still be with us for the foreseeable future. There will now be a new debate with government, and B2B Compliance will be there at the forefront ensuring a balanced and fair view is taken during the policy debate. As a producer-led initiative for the electrical and electronic industry, B2B Compliance was created to protect Producers’ interests in the WEEE compliance marketplace, and this is what we will continue to do.