Chemical sector urges Johnson to deliver on exports and manufacturing growth
24 Jul 2019
A leading chemical sector organisation has urged new prime minister Boris Johnson to start delivering on promises to stimulate economic growth.
The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) congratulated the successful candidate for Tory leader, who automatically became prime minister on the departure of Theresa May from office on his election victory over his rival, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Prior to Johnson's formal appointment as premier the association challenged him to make the future of UK manufacturing an immediate priority.
“We congratulate Boris Johnson and stand ready as the country’s biggest manufacturing export sector to work with the new Prime Minister and his Government to deliver growth and prosperity across all of the UK," it said in a public statement.
The CIA is one of the key bodies speaking on behalf of the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry. These sectors create an estimated £18 billion of value to the UK economy annually, from a turnover of £50 billion a year.
They also form a key UK employer for 500,000 people and rank as the largest exporter of manufactured goods, totalling £50 billion. Nearly two thirds of companies active are themselves exporters and the European Union remains their key location.
We urge the new Prime Minister and his government to work constructively and urgently to avoid a no deal outcome by the end of October
Chemical Industries Association
In total, 60% of chemical and pharmaceutical exports go to the EU, which is also the source for 75% of their imports and raw materials. Referencing this, the CIA called for constructive action by Government to reach a Brexit deal with the 27 EU member states.
"Securing a Brexit deal with the European Union in the coming months will, we believe, fundamentally strengthen the chances of that growth and prosperity happening, so we urge the new Prime Minister and his government - along with EU27 governments - to work constructively and urgently to avoid a no deal outcome by the end of October.
"Frictionless tariff free trade, regulatory consistency and access to skilled people remain the chemical industry’s priorities right across Europe and delivering those outcomes will help remove the damaging climate of uncertainty and inject some much needed business confidence in terms of trade and investment."
CEO of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, Stephen Phipson reiterated his organisation's warning against a no deal Brexit, immediately following Johnson's assumption of office as prime minister.
“No deal Brexit would damage our sector beyond repair. We look forward to working together with the new administration to make sure we move quickly to a deal which delivers Brexit and keeps UK manufacturing in a world leading position,” said Phipson.
“We welcome the new prime minister to Downing Street and have written to him today congratulating him on his appointment. We have also set out the critical importance manufacturing plays to the economy; British manufacturing is great national success story employing millions of people and contributing billions of pounds to GDP.