CEO Update | Monday 15 April 2019

Easter is fast approaching, Parliament has risen for a two week recess and MPs have left Westminster to contemplate their next steps after yet another dramatic Brexit week.  


Last week the UK and EU agreed a further Brexit extension until no later than 31 October 2019.  As the European Council states “If the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by both parties before this date, the withdrawal will take place on the first day of the following month.  If the UK is still a Member of the EU on 23-26 May 2019 and if it has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, it must hold the elections to the European Parliament in accordance with Union law. If the UK fails to live up to this obligation, the withdrawal will take place on 1 June 2019.” There will be a review at the European Council meeting on 20/21 June.

The EU stated that the Withdrawal Agreement can’t be reopened but “…if the position of the UK were to evolve, the European Council is prepared to reconsider the Political Declaration on the future relationship in accordance with the positions and principles stated in its guidelines and statements, including as regards the territorial scope of the future relationship.” It also stated that “…during the extension, the UK will remain a Member State with full rights and obligations in accordance with Article 50 TEU, and that the UK has a right to revoke its notification at any time.”

DHSC has written to companies in the Medicines Supply Contingency Planning Programme stating that they are reviewing the impact and will work with trade associations, and others, before “sharing further guidance at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, all no deal measures (such as stockpiles, additional buffer stocks etc) should remain in place but on hold until further guidance is available.”  If you haven’t received the letter please let us know.

The next EU Relationship Group takes place on 25 April, and we anticipate that this is when new guidance will be shared by government.  BIA continues to highlight to government that a heightened state of readiness for No-Deal is not sustainable for companies and that there are key questions to which that companies need answers for such as: How many weeks of stock? What happens to the ferries?


EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, invites biotech start-ups and small and medium sized biotech companies (SMEs) across Europe to apply for the 10th edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award – a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society. Depending on their field of activity, SMEs can apply in three categories: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotech.


Applications must be submitted online at by COB Sunday 15 September 2019. Two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a Jury of biotech and SME experts, with the winners celebrated during a landmark event held in Brussels on the 6th November. Each winner will also receive €10,000 prize money and two years free EuropaBio membership (runners-up also receive the latter), in addition to European-level exposure and visibility as well as press coverage.