Speaking on 29 March, Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association said: “on the day when we were due to leave the European Union, the only certainty is more uncertainty. We are concerned that investors will not wait. It is in the interest of the chemical industry across the continent of Europe to achieve a solution that will be the basis for an agreed future relationship between the UK and the EU. And we need that solution now.
Everyone understands that this is not easy – indeed, we knew that almost 3 years ago when British voters divided 48% to 52% in the EU referendum. At times of crisis however, the business community works together to find a solution - it is high time our politicians showed the same responsibility and collective leadership. I hope they do so before it is too late.”
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About the UK chemical industry
- 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.