Organisations representing chemical-using industries across the UK and Europe are united in expressing their disappointment at the result of the referendum, along with their determination to work with companies and governments to negotiate the best possible terms under the situation.
‘While business craves certainty, it is also used to operating in challenging and changing circumstances,’ said Steve Elliott, chief executive of the UK Chemical Industries Association. ‘I am confident that an important and resilient industry such as ours can prosper in this new situation.’
Steve Bates, head of the UK BioIndustry Association, said that the vote raises ‘key questions about regulation of medicines’, intellectual property, recruitment of talented personnel and the single market. ‘This will require detailed and dispassionate thinking … as we work through these complex issues,’ he added. The future of the European Medicines Agency based in London is also in question.
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) highlighted the importance of the UK chemical industry’s trade with Europe, with over €20 billion each of imports and exports exchanged between the UK and the rest of the bloc. ‘Given this importance, we need to work closely to ensure that existing trade and investment is not weakened and future opportunities are seized,’ the organisation stated. Mike Thompson, head of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, added that the UK must ‘send a strong signal that the UK is open for business’.