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MPA reaction to ‘Brexit’ decision

UK and EU

Mineral Products Association initiates review of implications and consequences

THE result of last week’s referendum decision for the UK to leave the EU has already triggered immediate impacts politically and economically. Some of these were to be expected, some less so. Prior to the vote the MPA believed that the UK would pay a significant price, whatever the outcome, in terms of muted growth and political instability in the short term, and this appears to be the case. Impacts for the longer term will take time to evaluate as the UK’s ‘new place in the world’ and role in Europe and relationship with the EU evolves.

Although the MPA adopted a neutral position prior to the referendum, focusing on providing unbiased information to inform its membership and facilitating a major debate at its recent ‘Mineral Products 2016’ national conference, it did state the need for planning to be done to ensure prompt action after the vote, whatever the result.


Critical to this, says the Association, is the need to affirm the UK’s international reputation and influence, to ensure that we remain one of the largest economies in the world, the second largest in Europe and an attractive place for inward and domestic investment. Lost economic momentum in 2016, it adds, will need to be recouped by minimizing uncertainties, encouraging and boosting both public and private investment and building confidence as the top priority. The pent-up demand for new housing, new and replacement transport and energy infrastructure, as well as the continuing demand for repair and maintenance, will only increase and the Government’s response must be positive in terms of investment and delivery. Resilient and continuous supplies of essential mineral products will be critical to this.

MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson said: ‘The MPA has initiated a review of the implications and consequences of the ‘Brexit decision’ on those issues of relevance to the industry. With a number of major and overdue decisions pending on high profile transport and energy projects, such as Hinkley Point, the third runway in the South East and the Swansea Tidal Lagoon, and increasing concerns about the pace of delivery of planned infrastructure, this is no time to lose determination or focus.  Key strategic initiatives such as the Northern Powerhouse must remain high on the Government’s agenda.   

‘We will be working with partners and stakeholders to make sure that the Government is made aware of the key priorities for our industry going forward and ensure that there is a rational and objective review of future regulation. We are not convinced that any objective evaluation of EU ‘red tape’ has been undertaken and certainly no informed assessment of 43 years of transposition of EU regulation into UK law. We believe that it will not be easy, quick or even desirable to try and unpack the current corpus of regulation without knowing what will supersede it. It is often UK interpretation and implementation that is more of a problem than EU regulation and the distinction needs to be clear.

‘The vital role technical product standards and design codes play should not be overlooked and illustrates how the UK will need to stay involved in European organizations regardless of the eventual shape of our new relationship.

‘We would also urge the Government and the EU to think creatively and innovatively to enable the UK to balance access to the single market with proportionate and sufficient free movement of labour to help fill our skills gap.’


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