The UK's chemical industry has urged the government to negotiate tariff-free access to the Single Market in a Brexit manifesto published today.
The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has also called for the availability of skilled people to be secured, the supply of competitive and secure energy and “a policy framework that encourages scientific progress” as three other priority areas that will help the sector thrive and attract investment after leaving the European Union.
"In common with many internationally competitive sectors of the UK economy, the chemical industry wants to retain tariff free access to the single market and a reassurance that it can continue to retain and recruit a skilled workforce from both within and outside the country," said Steve Elliott, chief executive of the Chemical Industries Association.
In addition, we need to ensure that in leaving the EU we retain a competitively priced and secure energy base and a science policy and supporting framework that incentivises innovation and growth.
Bringing these four elements together offers the most persuasive case for chemical and pharmaceutical companies to continue investing with confidence in the UK.
The chemical and pharmaceutical sector is the UK’s largest manufacturing export earner, with annual exports of close to £50bn.
In addition, the industry spends £4.4bn a year on investment in buildings, vehicles and machinery and, on a direct and indirect basis, employs around 500,000 people.