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Lord O’Shaughnessy Outlines Government’s Plans for Post Brexit Landscape for UK Life Sciences at BIA/MHRA Conference

14 July 2017

Lord O'Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, has underlined the government’s commitment to support and promote UK life sciences in the ongoing Brexit negotiations with the EU at the BIA MHRA conference today. This is the first speech by a government minister that publicly addresses industry concerns and commits government to working with the sector throughout the negotiation process. 
The minister emphasised the government’s vision for future collaboration between the UK and the EU, and emphasised that the UK is a ‘scientific, regulatory and industrial centre of excellence,’ and outlined three key principles that must underpin any future relationship with the EU:
  • First: patients must never be disadvantaged; 
  • Second: the UK will continue to play a leading role promoting and ensuring public health – both in Europe and around the world; and
  • Third: industry must be able to get their products into the UK market as quickly and simply as possible, with the UK and Europe at the forefront of medical innovation. 
BIA CEO, Steve Bates, said: “It’s great to see that the minister has taken the opportunity at the joint BIA MHRA Conference, to offer a clear message to the UK life sciences industry, as we look towards the next round of EU negotiations taking place next week. The strong commitment ‘to secure ongoing close collaboration between the UK and the EU, with the needs and rights of patients always our paramount concern’ is good news for patients, industry and investors in the UK and EU. 
“This builds on the helpful letter from Secretaries of State Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark last week. The BIA will continue to share our members’ expertise with government  and all relevant stakeholders throughout the negotiation process and continue the ‘positive level of engagement and debate’ that has occurred so far between us.”


Notes to editors

Contact: Ed Sexton Communications and Media Relations Manager 02076302196 

About the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA)

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.