Press Release

The chemical industry – the UK’s biggest manufacturing export sector - has responded to the general election result. 

“The Country now has the political clarity and certainty which business has been seeking. Now we have that we must get Brexit right and secure an exit and future trading relationship between the UK and the EU that enables broader manufacturing and the chemical industry to maintain and grow its contribution to the whole of the UK economy and to people’s everyday lives” said Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association. 

He continued: “We now look forward to working with the Prime Minister, his Government, all political parties across Parliament and the Devolved  Administrations to ensure a strong UK manufacturing presence across the Country. Our industry in this Country and throughout Europe will be supporting both our Government and the European Union to ensure there is a friction-less, free trade agreement in place as soon as possible. We also believe that it is in our environmental and commercial best interests to secure close regulatory alignment with the European Union and to ensure that we can continue to attract and retain the very best skilled, specialist people from anywhere around the world.”

He added “after three and half years of political stalemate, I hope we can now make rapid progress on our EU exit and future relationship and start to tackle some of the great challenges that are before us.  As the Prime Minister said, delivering net zero emissions by 2050 is central to those challenges and it can only be achieved through the products and technologies of chemical businesses.  Our industry supports this ambition and we look forward to working with the new Government to secure the investment in technology and infrastructure that will help us reach this”. 



For further information and an interview with Steve Elliott, please contact CIA's Simon Marsh on 07951 389197 or [email protected] 
• The chemical and pharmaceutical industry adds £19.2 billion of value to the UK economy every year from total annual turnover of £55.5 billion.
• In addition to gross value added, the sector also contributes to the UK economy in its position at the head of many supply chains within manufacturing and its employment of a well remunerated, high-skilled workforce. We support 500,000 jobs both directly and indirectly Chemical manufacturing adds over £10 billion in gross value added annually and pharmaceutical manufacturing over £8 billion.

• The wider chemical and pharmaceutical sector (manufacturing plus distribution) is the largest exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of over £55 billion.

• 63% of companies in the sector export what they make to the world, the highest proportion of any goods manufacturing sector in the UK economy. 60% of our exports go to the European Union and 75% of our imports and raw materials come from the European Union.

• The sector’s level of business investment is around £5 billion (compared to automotive £3.6 billion and aerospace £1.5 billion, while the expenditure on research & development is £5.0 billion (automotive £2.7 billion and aerospace £2.1 billion).
• The products and technologies of the Chemical industry are essential parts of medicines, food & drink, telecommunications, energy-saving, I.T, clothing and much more.

• For every tonne of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitted, our products and technologies enable over 2 tonnes of GHG emissions savings.

Media & PR enquiries

For Media enquiries, please contact:

Simon Marsh

07951 389197

[email protected]


Laura Bamford 

[email protected] 


Giuliana Loccisano 

 07947 603663

 [email protected]