The government is being urged by the chemical industry to secure more certainty over Brexit by agreeing to a deal, says the Chemical Industries Association (CIA).
Leaving the EU without a deal would lead to ‘disastrous consequences for businesses and citizens on both sides of the Channel’ including the disrupted supply of goods, including medicines, they say.
‘Politicians have an incredibly hard job to do on all issues, Brexit especially,’ says Steve Elliott, CEO of the CIA. ‘The Brexit referendum divided the country with a close result. Whatever conclusion is reached will not please everybody.
‘Yet, every day, businesses have to compromise, people have to compromise and now it is time for politicians to compromise.’
The CIA have previously spoken out about the major disruption to supply chains and businesses if the UK leaves the EU after failing to secure a deal. As a foundation industry, any potential negative impact on the chemical industry could affect associated industries – pharmaceuticals, food and automotive to name but a few.
Businesses also need sufficient time to prepare for whatever eventuality is decided by the government, in order to minimise disruption.
‘The chemical industry urgently needs the government to agree a deal with the European Union that allows businesses to import and export as freely as possible, with continuity of regulation,’ says Elliott. ‘That outcome gives us our best opportunity to secure and grow business investment across the UK which is critical to many communities as it provides jobs and money that is then spent in local areas.
‘So, come on politicians, the outcome may not be perfect and may not deliver all you want, but let’s go for what we can get and then work together, through the democratic system, to improve it in the years ahead.’
The chemical and pharmaceutical industries are worth £18bn to the UK economy, responsible for business investment worth £4.3bn and support 500,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.