The European chemical industry has signed a joint statement setting out the importance of a future EU/UK trading relationship.
The statement, agreed by Cefic (the European Chemical Industry Council) and CIA (the Chemical Industries Association, the organization representing and advising chemical and pharmaceutical companies located across the UK) covers supply chains, tariffs, customs procedures, free movement of people, investment, regulatory consistency and transition & legal certainty.
Cefic and CIA spell out that for the continuation of a healthy and viable chemical industry:
• Brexit without a new trade agreement between the UK and the European Union would be the worst possible outcome;
• A transition period is essential;
• The least disruptive agreement in terms of customs procedures and
• continued free movement of skilled labour between the EU-27 and the UK is essential;
• The establishment of concrete measures to facilitate investment and growth of the European chemical industry and
• regulatory consistency to uphold the level playing field between the EU-27 and the UK are necessary.
Marco Mensink, Director General of Cefic said: “Considering that cross-channel chemical trade amounts to over 40 bn euro and given the close interconnection of supply chains, we are very concerned about Brexit causing disruption of chemical markets. Business needs to get clarity on the nature of the future relationship and the provisions that will apply in a transitional period as early as possible so it can timely prepare”.
Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of CIA added: “Brexit is a huge challenge for the EU and for the UK. We call on negotiators on both sides to make rapid progress, so the discussions can move to a future relationship that delivers growth for all parts of our Continent. That growth can be best achieved by the development of a forward looking industrial policy ensuring Europe is an attractive place to invest, where the chemical industry can thrive and continue to deliver societal solutions including jobs growth across all of Europe".
For an interview with/further comment from Marco Mensink, call Irene Van Luijken on +32 2 676 72 87
For an interview with/further comment from Steve Elliott, call Simon Marsh on +44 07951 389197
Note to editors:
Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, founded in 1972, is the voice of large, medium and small chemical companies in Europe, which provide 1.2 million jobs and account for 14.7% of world chemicals production.
The chemical and pharmaceutical industry adds £14.4 billion of value to the UK economy every year from total annual turnover of over £40 billion. This represents around 10% of the value added by the whole of UK manufacturing.
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. Chemical manufacturing adds £9 billion in gross value added annually and pharmaceutical manufacturing £5 billion.
The wider chemical and pharmaceutical sector (manufacturing plus distribution) is the largest exporter of manufactured goods with annual exports of close to £50 billion. The export of motor vehicle, trailers and semi-trailers is the sector with next highest exports of £35 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.