LONDON—United Kingdom chemical industry leaders had a chance to provide input into the upcoming Brexit negotiations at a business sector roundtable hosted by the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Chaired by Robin Walker, minister for the department for exiting the European Union, those attending the Oct. 26 meeting discussed opportunities Brexit could present for the U.K. chemicals industry.
The industry was represented by executives from the Chemical Industries Association, Thomas Swan and Co., Johnson Matthey, BASF, INEOS, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechologies, Biorenewables Development Centre, Croda Shott Trinova and Oxford Biotrans.
The meeting was one of a series of consultations between U.K. ministers and industry leaders to help establish priorities before the U.K. triggers Article 50 and begins negotiations to leave the EU.
Topics discussed included the potential impact of Brexit on investment into R&D, energy supply, regulation and skills within second largest U.K. manufacturing export sector, which employs around 94,000 people.
“I look forward to working with the chemical industry, as we embark on this historic and positive moment for our nation and get the best deal for Britain's businesses and manufacturers,” Walker said in a press release regarding the meeting.
“By listening to their concerns and discussing opportunities, the [U.K.] government is seeking to limit uncertainty in the transition and ensure a new relationship with the EU which works for businesses and Britain,” his statement added.
As a major exporter of manufactured goods, this was an early, important opportunity for the country's chemical and pharmaceutical business leaders, according to Nick Sturgeon, energy and competitiveness director at the CIA.
“The government does have a clear understanding of what we need—single market access, availability of people, affordable and secure energy and a science policy that stimulates growth—in order that our companies can continue delivering for the U.K.,” Sturgeon said. “We are looking forward to working with Robin Walker and his team in trying to secure the best deal we can for our sector and for the country."