'Brexit' and the Industrial Strategy
On 23rd June 2016 the UK voted to end its membership of the European Union. After an initial period of uncertainty, formal negotiations are taking place. Focus has shifted from the immediate implications, to the development of a new industrial strategy for the country so that “Britain prospers and flourishes outside the EU.”
MedTech has repeatedly been identified as a key sector for future economic growth and we have welcomed this recognition from government. Our Industrial Strategy response is available for members to read here. We have taken a positive, long-term, strategic view as to the critical factors that will ensure our industry continues to deliver benefits for patients, health care systems and the economy. It sets out what actions government needs to take to set the framework for success.
ABHI’s Chief Executive, Peter Ellingworth and Neil Mesher, Board Member (Philips UK and Ireland CEO), were invited to join the newly constituted Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board. The Board brings together representation from across the sector, including industry, charities, academics and the health and care system.
The UK’s differentiating factor is the National Health Service. As the world’s largest single-payer health and care system, the NHS can be a superb test-bed for members’ innovative technologies. It will be essential for industry to work in collaboration with the NHS, to drive innovation and to make the UK's MedTech sector a world leader.
In our “playbook” we have also argued strongly that our SMEs are under particular pressure. General uncertainty is making investment more difficult, a weakened pound is driving up the cost of raw materials and the increasingly short-term, price focused NHS procurement initiatives risk drastically reducing the supplier base. We are assertively pursuing actions to support our smaller companies.
The Prime Minister has now invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally launching the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. The complex negotiations to agree terms of exit are underway to establish the basis of Britain's relationship with the EU upon departure from it. This has to be concluded within two years.
During this crucial Brexit phase, as formal negotiations commence, ABHI's focus is to voice the interests of the MedTech industry operating in the U.K. The senior-level engagements lead by ABHI's Board and Senior Leadership Team ensure our industry’s views are strongly represented.