What does the Labour party win mean for the UK beauty industry?

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

What does the Labour party win mean for the UK beauty industry?

Related tags cosmetic

In the UK, left-wing political party Labour has just gained power with a landslide majority in the general election. As politics continues to shift across the Europe region, what could this mean for the future of the beauty industry in Britain…

It’s no doubt that the political landscape across various European markets is in a period of rapid change​ that's causing more uncertainty across the region.  

On 7th July 2024 the French political elections culminated in a surprise result – with the extreme left garnering more support than predicted – and it's likely that France will now have a ‘hung Parliament.’

Over in the UK, the right-wing Conservative party has enjoyed power for over a decade, but there has now been an undoubted swing to the left.

Two of the UK’s official beauty industry organisations have given their views on how this change of political environment could impact the market for beauty and personal care companies based in, or selling into the UK market.

The future for beauty and personal care products in the UK

The UK industry body for beauty and personal care products, the Cosmetics Toiletries & Perfumery Association (CTPA), said it congratulated Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party on the “clear victory” and that it “looks forward to working with the new UK Government.”

Over the past year, the CTPA has been engaging with all parties on the key asks of its Manifesto​, which is based around five pillars: Essentiality, Regulation, Science, Sustainability and Business.

The industry body now plans to bring a new Agenda for Government based on its principles to the newly appointed Cabinet and Ministers, as well as their advisers and Government officials and regulators.

CTPA’s Director-General Dr Emma Meredith said:“A clear election result and a significant mandate for the new UK Government provides the in-coming administration with an opportunity to plan long term for the future success of business, and specifically for the cosmetics, personal care and beauty industry.

Dr Meredith said that the CTPA “welcomes the new Government’s plans to have sector strategies as part of an overall industrial strategy and requests that, as part of this, the UK Government develops a dedicated strategy for the cosmetics, personal care and beauty industry.”

She continued to say that this would: “promote the essentiality of the industry’s products and services; maintain strict risk-based safety legislation; protect science-led decision-making; provide a framework for growth with sustainability at its core; enhance the competitiveness of the UK industry for both import and export and champion the UK industry as a leader in product manufacture, design and innovation.”

CTPA hopes that it can work with the new Labour Government as “a trusted partner” to address “the critical issues affecting our vital sector.”

The specific issues include:

• “The development of an overarching Strategy for the Sector with Government, as part of the proposed Sector Strategies proposed by the Labour Party.

• Continued full adherence to the UK Cosmetics Regulation with its high standards and risk-based approach, consumer trust, industry awareness and acceptance by our global trading partners as part of the Product Safety Review (PSR).

• Enhanced efforts to develop greatly improved regulatory cooperation and trading relationships with the EU post Brexit, to reduce frictions and regulatory burdens for the benefit of both sides, including fully implementing the Chemicals Chapter in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

• A new system under the Alternative Transitional Registration model (ATRm) system for UK REACH that is achievable and cost-effective for industry, particularly for Downstream Users, while ensuring safety and environmental protection.

• A new joined up Government strategy to accelerate the uptake of Non-Animal Methodologies in safety assessment for chemicals and other products to complement the existing ban on animal testing for cosmetic products, to help the UK become a world leader in modern, animal-free science.

• Support for the Government on the development of a world-class, producer-led Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme for packaging, with industry being central to the operation and design of the EPR scheme in order to achieve efficiency and deliver the desired environmental outcomes.

• An approach to regulation that is based on sound science, is UK-wide, avoiding unnecessary divergence in the UK internal market and takes into account the need for long lead in times for changes that may affect labelling and avoids the need for separate production lines between the UK and EU, to ensure prices stay low for consumers and a full choice of products remains.”

The future for beauty services in the UK

Meanwhile, the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC), which oversees the beauty services sector, has assessed the new government’s Manifesto to see what it could mean for the sector.

CEO of BABTAC & CIBTAC, Lesley Blair MBE, said: “While a change of guard can bring uncertainty, it also presents the perfect opportunity to align and offer our extensive expertise and experience. We will ensure we offer our support to the incoming Labour Government to assist them in delivering on their manifesto promises – especially those identified as being beneficial to our industry and our members – as well as advising them of additional important matters affecting our sector directly.”

Blair said she would strongly encourage the new Prime Minister and his party “to collaborate with reputable and professional industry bodies, such as BABTAC, to help optimise their objectives in each sector.” 

The BATBAC said it will continue to work collaboratively with the new UK government and advise on key factors affecting the beauty sector, including key topics such as:

  • Beauty’s contribution to the economy
  • Regulation and licensing
  • Education and standardisation of qualifications
  • Tax and funding support
  • Sustainability


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