Press Release

The chemical industry believes it is right that both sides of the Brexit negotiations have published contingency arrangements. The country’s largest manufacturing exporter thinks “with the deadline fast approaching and no agreement in sight, it’s right and proper that you say what will happen if you end up without a deal”.

Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association, said “I very much hope there will be an agreement. The UK and the European chemical sector is working closely with negotiators on both sides, continuing to inform them of the importance of allowing the continent’s chemical sector to operate as we do today or with very little change to the status quo”. He continued “the chemical industry and its customers and suppliers are dependent on complex, just-in-time supply chains, involving multiple transactions back and forth across the Channel, so even the smallest disruption will have an adverse effect on the reliable delivery of our products and solutions for people across the UK and continental Europe”.

On the contingency plans, he said “the Chancellor has given extra funding to Defra with chemicals mentioned and we will need that if we leave without a deal. Similarly the European Union has already set out as much as possible for the moment the arrangements that will apply in the chemical sector arising from the European Chemicals Agency as well as the detail on other areas about what will happen to existing regulations”.

 “After the Christmas and New Year period, I hope all those involved on both sides – the negotiators, the Parliaments and the populations at large - will recognise the need to deliver a deal to which we can all work for a successful future”, Elliott concluded.



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

  • 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]

Laura Bamford

020 7963 6791

[email protected]