Big pharmaceutical business to pile pressure on Government over Brexit trade –

Chiefs are gathering to demand information from ministers this month – before formal talks over Brexit.

Over the summer drug makers compiled a list of key concerns about the divorce from the Union for the Government.

The final manifesto by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) asked for a consistent regulatory framework, access to EU talent and easy trade.

One of their biggest concerns was the loss of funding from the EU.

Their calls come after business secretary Greg Clark revealed Nissan had been reassured by the Government ahead of negotiations, despite the rest of the country being kept in the dark.

Nissan announced it would manufacture its new Qashqai at a plant in Sunderland despite an earlier warning it could take construction out of Britain.

After the U-turn sceptics voiced concerned it had been offered a deal by the Government.

The life sciences steering committee, chaired by Sir Andrew Witty and Pascal Soriot, chief executives of Glaxo-SmithKline and AstraZeneca deny their talks, being held in November, will be to steer the Government towards a sympathetic position.

Mike Thompson, chief executive of ABPI insisted the sector was in a powerful position and its own meeting would not be like that of “Nissan”.

He said: “After already hearing the Prime Minister, members of the cabinet and MPs highlight the strategic importance of the pharmaceutical industry, any agreement between Downing Street and Nissan will have no bearing at all on what has already been constructive dialogue between our sector and the Government.”

Although Downing Street has remained quiet over its Brexit plans, business secretary Greg Clark revealed tariff levels, in particular working to achieve tariff-free trade, would form a key part of Brexit discussions.

Mr Clark also insisted he had made no commitment to Nissan and any promises made on behalf of the Government were for businesses in general – not just the automaker.

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