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Brexit likely to worsen challenges confronting UK textiles sector

UK's decision to leave the European Union (EU) is likely to worsen the challenges facing the domestic used textiles sector, according to Textiles Recycling Association director, Alan Wheeler.

Contributing to the Materials Recycling World magazine, Wheeler pointed out that a large proportion of the UK’s business is conducted with EU member states with free trade having helped support textiles recycling industry when exporting to countries particularly in the east of the continent. Thus it would be best to wait and see what form of trade agreements the UK can negotiate before leaving the EU. This would also enable the sector to continue trading with EU partners, according to the Textiles Recycling Association director.

And regarding the ‘50 or more’ EU free trade agreements with countries or blocs of countries outside the union, people in the domestic used textiles sector would now have to negotiate their own deals so that we can continue to enjoy favourable access to these same markets.

Also under the EU, free movement of people has enabled UK firms to recruit sufficient staff. ‘These workers are not suppressing wages: rates of pay for manual workers and working conditions are generally good,’ Wheeler noted.