Defra has said it is confident the UK “will continue to have safe and plentiful supplies of water in the event of no deal” on 29 March.
Defra Parliamentary under-secretary of state, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, gave the assurance to Lord Smith of Finsbury in Parliament in response to a question about arrangements to ensure the efficient delivery of water purification chemicals from the EU to water companies in the UK in the event of a no-deal withdrawal from the EU.
Lord Kimble said: “The water industry is reliant to a large extent on chemicals imported from the EU to ensure water is safe to drink. Often they are supplied on a ‘just in time’ basis. Water companies and officials in my department have been working together to identify the sector’s needs and any steps that should be taken to ensure they continue to be met.
“Analysis of current supply chains has provided reassurance. The majority of critical chemicals come through ports such as Immingham, which are less likely than Dover to see potential disruption. Water companies are also increasing their on-site stocks of chemicals and are working with suppliers and regulators to increase production rates and storage capacity or look for alternative options for resilience. The government will further ensure all necessary steps are taken to secure chemicals for the water sector.”