Press Release

The Chemical Industry in the UK and in Europe has spoken of the importance of an agreed trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom.


Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association (whose members are chemical and pharmaceutical businesses in the UK) said “The EU remains our biggest customer and supplier, so securing a tariff-free, frictionless free trade agreement is essential. Most crucially creating a parallel UK regulatory regime for chemicals, whilst still needing to meet the legal requirements of our biggest market place under EU REACH will, in our view, bring no commercial or environmental benefit and could put businesses and jobs at risk right across the country, including seeing a whole new programme of animal testing, something that none of us wants to happen. I think we can get a good trade deal without compromising the Brexit wish of the British people”.

Marco Mensink, Director General of Cefic (whose members are chemical businesses from across Europe) said: “We would like to see an agreement comprising tariff and quota free chemicals trade and the UK staying in REACH and ECHA to ensure full regulatory alignment. We and the UK chemical industry will be working to support all sides in achieving that”.

The industry which is the UK’s biggest manufacturing exporter and Europe’s fourth has nearly 44 billion euro worth of trade flowing between the two jurisdictions. An agreed trade deal will also strengthen the sector’s work that is already delivering significant solutions to global challenges such as climate change.



For further information and an interview with Steve Elliott, please contact CIA's Simon Marsh on 07951 389197 or [email protected]


Our joint position paper is here

• 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.

• Most of our companies in the sector export what they make to the world, the highest proportion of any goods manufacturing sector in the UK economy. 50% of our exports go to the European Union and 76% of our imports and raw materials come from the European Union.

• The sector’s level of business investment is around £5 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.


The industry spends £5.4 billion on research and development which is more than 20% of the UK’s total business spend.

Media & PR enquiries

For Media enquiries, please contact:

Simon Marsh

07951 389197

[email protected]


Laura Bamford 

07885 831615

[email protected]