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Business

European Exit Could Harm Britain’s Chemical Firms

by Alex Scott
February 22, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 8

Great Britain’s exit from the European Union—dubbed the Brexit—could result in up to a $10 billion drop in annual chemical exports from the country, according to a report by the Paris-based credit insurance firm Euler Hermes. British citizens are due to vote to stay in or leave the EU by the end of 2017. Figures from six independent polls taken between Jan. 27 and Feb. 16 show that 49% of citizens want to leave and 51% want to stay. Exports from Britain’s chemical industry, the country’s largest manufacturing exporter, are worth almost $80 billion annually. Even if Britain could establish a new free-trade agreement with its European counterparts after exiting the EU, the sector could still lose up to $3.5 billion annually, Euler Hermes says. Many British scientists also warn that a Brexit would undermine the country’s ability to innovate and undertake R&D.

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