HDA UK Media And Political Bulletin – 11 April 2018

Media and Political Bulletin

11 April 2018

Media Summary

UK businesses call for post-Brexit alignment with EU regulations

Financial Times, George Parker, 11 April 2018

 

The Financial Times reports on a recent survey from the Confederation of British Industries, ‘Smooth Operations’, which has found that 18 of the 23 sectors of the economy that the organisation surveyed, companies favoured convergence after Brexit with regulations that were either close to or identical to those in the rest of the EU.

Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the CBI, said the opportunities for business afforded by future regulatory freedom from Brussels were “limited” and that the majority of sectors want to stay close to current rules.

The report backs the status quo when it comes to the regulation of medicines and medical devices after Brexit. Echoing previous requests from pharma representatives, and from patients’ groups, the CBI said pharma companies based in the UK should continue to do quality testing for products sold all over the EU after Brexit. “The U.K. has the third highest number of sites involved in batch certification in the EU. Convergence would ensure these sites are protected,” the CBI said.

Regulatory divergence between the UK and the EU “would add very little competitive edge to the U.K.’s life sciences sector,” it said.

 

A link to the full report is available here.

Parliamentary Coverage

 

There is no parliamentary coverage today.

 

Full Coverage

UK businesses call for post-Brexit alignment with EU regulations

Financial Times, George Parker, 11 April 2018

 

Large swaths of the economy will be damaged if the UK deviates too far from EU regulations after Brexit, according to a new report from the CBI business lobby.

Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the CBI, said the opportunities for business afforded by future regulatory freedom from Brussels were “limited” and that the majority of sectors want to stay close to current rules.

She said that any gains from deregulation in some sectors are “vastly outweighed by the costs that will be incurred if the UK’s rules change so much that it reduces smooth access to the EU’s market”.

The CBI said it had spoken to thousands of companies across 23 industries to provide Theresa May and her negotiators with a detailed breakdown of the kind of Brexit sought by business leaders.

Asked whether Eurosceptic enthusiasm for breaking loose from Brussels might prevail, Ms Fairbairn said: “There are trade offs between control and access. Our ambition is simple: to make sure that kind of ideological debate can be properly informed.”

The CBI survey, “Smooth Operations”, found that in 18 of the sectors surveyed, companies favoured convergence after Brexit: regulations that were either close to or identical to those in the rest of the EU.

Ms Fairbairn said that Britain should seek a say over shaping those rules after Brexit, even if it would no longer have a formal say in the European Parliament, European Commission or the EU Council, where laws are made.

“Alignment will need to come with mechanisms for influence and enforcement that benefit both sides,” she said, arguing that non-EU members such as Albania and Turkey had some say through EU agencies.

Ms Fairbairn said there was “good engagement now” with ministers on the priorities for the EU trade negotiation; in the early months of Mrs May’s premiership relations between the CBI boss and prime minister were frosty.

The report identified some sectors that were more enthusiastic about the possibility of regulatory divergence after Brexit, including shipping, waste and environmental services and water.

It said that the agriculture, food and drink sector saw “limited opportunities” for divergence from EU rules, as did the hospitality trade.

But for all other sectors there was a preference for regulatory convergence, with industries such as aviation, aerospace and chemicals requiring very high levels of alignment with the Brussels regime.

David Davis, Brexit secretary, wants to agree the outline of a trade deal by the autumn and claimed this week he had a good idea of where the negotiations were heading. “I could probably tell you 80 to 90 per cent where we will end up,” he said.

Richard Tice, at the pro-Brexit group Leave Means Leave, said the CBI was unrepresentative of British business and determined to protect “the vested interests of global multi-nationals” at the expense of the rest of the UK economy.

“It is quite extraordinary that this business lobby group wants to keep a load of unnecessary EU regulations that stifle growth and innovation, which will thus reduce wage growth potential for UK workers,” he said.

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

See the Infographic

Apply to become a Member

Membership of the HDA guarantees your organisation:

  • Access to leading policy and industry forums of debate and discussion
  • Invitations to a range of networking industry events organised through the year, including an Annual Conference and a Business Day
  • Representation on HDA working parties, including the Members’ Liaison Group
  • A daily Political and Media Bulletin and HDA Newsletters
  • Access to HDA policy documents and all sections of the HDA website
  • Branding and marketing opportunities
Apply Now

Already a Member?