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UK BioIndustry Association statement in response to Prime Minister triggering Article 50

30 March 2017
by eub2 -- last modified 30 March 2017

In response to the Prime Minister's triggering of Article 50 today, BIA CEO, Steve Bates OBE, said:


"The triggering of Article 50 is a key moment in the Brexit process. The fundamentals of UK bioscience remain strong. The UK life sciences sector is a dynamic, globally focused community, unfazed by new challenges and staffed by great management teams used to working with uncertainty and risk – whether it be scientific, financial or environmental like Brexit or the new US administration.

"We welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to make the UK one of the best places for science and innovation. So far, the UK government has demonstrated its commitment to innovation, and this was further shown through its support for the sector in the Budget announcements including the investment in UKRI and the refilling of the Biomedical Catalyst. We look forward to building on this engagement via the life science response to the Industrial Strategy. It was also encouraging to see the Prime Minister's letter mention the importance of prioritising 'how we manage the evolution of our regulatory frameworks to maintain a fair and open trading environment.'

"We are now entering a two-year political negotiation that is likely to result in a period of press speculation, bombast and rhetoric. Early agreement on key issues like the regulation of medicines, the regime to enable non-UK nationals to work and contribute to the UK life science ecosystem, trade, finance support, market and intellectual property rules, would be the best way to ensure speedy and continuing global inward investment into the UK and EU. It would also be in the best interest of patients who require access to innovative healthcare. 

"During the negotiation, the BIA will continue to provide dispassionate insight and commentary on the Brexit process. We will continue to make our members' expertise available to the government and its key agencies in the coming weeks and months as we work through highly complex and technical issues. The BIA remains committed to making the UK the third global cluster for life sciences and we will work closely with government and relevant agencies to deliver this ambition."

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.

BioIndustry Association