As UK Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to meet European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the chemical industry right across Europe – one of the continents biggest sectors - has united in calling for both sides of the Brexit negotiations to secure an agreement.
In a joint statement the Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), Marco Mensink and the Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association, Steve Elliott said “What our industry and the whole economy needs is an agreed Brexit deal. We hope these talks on Thursday 7 February can secure that outcome. Businesses are increasingly preparing for a no-deal outcome with all the implications that has, for not just the UK, but for Europe as a whole. The deadline is fast approaching. We hope the negotiators put the finishing touches to an agreement that commands support from within the UK and across Europe”.
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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 17% of world chemicals production.
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.