Association News

Life Sciences Welcome Brexit Position Paper on UK Science’s Future

The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI) and the BioIndustry Association (BIA) have welcomed the UK Government’s latest Brexit position paper on ‘Collaboration on science and innovation’.

​​​​The UK Government’s position​ follows a prolonged effort from the life sciences industry to establish Government consensus on key Brexit issues.

The sector first outlined in September 2016 that securing “alignment and commonality with the EU for the regulation of medicines“, “long-term, predictable funding for scientific research, and continued ability to collaborate at scale” and “an agreement with the EU that facilitates the ease of movement for highly-skilled talent“, were top level priorities for maintaining and growing the industry as Britain leaves the EU.

This position paper also follows a recent recommendation (3 July 2017) of the European Commission appointed High Level Group on ‘Maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes‘, which stated that “full and continued engagement with the UK within the post-2020 EU R&I programme remains an obvious win-win for the UK and the EU. The UK has one of the strongest science bases of all European countries.

Mike Thompson, ABPI CEO and Steve Bates, BIA CEO said:

“Continuing their pragmatic approach to secure the future of the UK’s life science sector, this latest position paper features many very positive ambitions for the future.

As the Commission’s own research has recognised, citizens across the whole of Europe benefit from the way UK and European scientists and researchers collaborate; helping find new ways to tackle health challenges we all face.

Continued cooperation in research, a smooth transition for the regulation of medicines, and practical solutions for trade and talent will be essential to delivering the best outcome for patients in both the UK and the EU.

Talent drives the strength, depth and quality of UK science, so, securing the continued mobility of UK and EU scientists would be the next logical and crucial step. These scientists have an important role to play in the future health, well-being and economic prosperity of Europe.

As the paper recognises, “drug development is a global business” and with timeframes getting tighter by the day, it’s essential that progress is delivered through negotiations with the EU to give industry confidence that UK and Europe will continue to be one of the best places in the word for developing and delivering the very best breakthroughs in medicine.”

The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, in an industry that is a major contributor to the economy of the UK. Member companies supply more than 80 per cent of all branded medicines used by the NHS and those who are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline. Globally the industry is researching and developing more than 7,000 new medicines. 

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. ​​