Following yesterday’s announcement that the Government will postpone the vote on the Brexit terms while it seeks amendments to the text, the UK’s top manufacturing exporter has urged calm. Although expressing disappointment at further delay and uncertainty, the Chemical Industries Association, which represents chemical and pharmaceutical businesses, has called for collective leadership to help deliver an orderly Brexit.
Steve Elliott, the Association’s Chief Executive said: “this deal is not perfect but, in the absence of any other agreement, it represents a good opportunity for the sector we represent. If any changes keep alive the three points we have called for since the day after the referendum – frictionless free trade, regulatory consistency and access to skilled people – then it will receive our support. Like everyone else,, we have been pressing for clarity and certainty but if it takes another short period of time to secure a pragmatic outcome then that is time well spent. At critical moments in negotiation you don’t panic but stay calm to deliver the best outcome. We have said from day one the best negotiations often go down to the wire. If that happens here then we can move on from what feels like political gridlock”. ENDS
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- The chemical and pharmaceutical industry adds £18 billion of value to the UK economy every year from total annual turnover of £50 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 £9 billion in gross value added annually and pharmaceutical manufacturing £9 billion.
- The wider chemical and pharmaceutical sector (manufacturing plus distribution) is the largest exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of over £50 billion. The export of motor vehicle, trailers and semi-trailers is the sector with next highest exports of £35 billion. Aerospace is £32 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 £4.3 billion, compared to automotive £2.7 billion and aerospace £2.1 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.