Chemical sector cautious but relieved that progress has been made on Brexit | CIA





Press Release

The Chemical Industry in the UK and in Europe welcomes the news that the negotiators have agreed on both a Brexit withdrawal agreement and future political declaration. Furthermore, we hope this can now be accepted by both Parliaments.

Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the UK Chemical Industries Association, said: “Given where we were last week, I welcome the accord now reached. We will continue our work with UK Government, political parties and all stakeholders to ensure the detail of the agreement and any future relationship supports the growth of our sector.

We will also continue to work closely with the wider European industry so that we maintain the existing close relationship within our sector, our customers and our suppliers throughout Europe and beyond. 

This deal – with its commitment to a free trade agreement avoiding tariffs and non-tariff barriers – represents an opportunity that we must now grab hold of, although we still seek reassurance that we can maintain a strong connection to the regulatory framework of our biggest and most important market.

The deal will not be perfect for everyone including ourselves. It is now for MPs and MEPs to decide what happens next and in doing so, I hope they will take on board the points we have been making for the past three years”.

Marco Mensink, Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) said: “We are pleased to see the explicit reference to the exploring of “the possibility of cooperation of United Kingdom authorities with Union agencies such as the European Chemicals Agency”, which is something that we have been advocating for a long time as Cefic and CIA.

We are looking forward to an orderly Brexit process that provides for a transition period followed by an ambitious (trade) agreement.”



For further information, please contact CIA's Simon Marsh on 07951 389197 or [email protected]

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.

Media & PR enquiries

For Media enquiries, please contact:

Simon Marsh

07951 389197

[email protected]


Diana Tamayo 

07885 831615

[email protected]