The Lords EU Goods Sub Committee were told on Monday that pharmaceutical exports to the European Union will fall by more than a fifth over a no-deal Brexit.
Dr Louise Gill, head of policy at GlaxoSmithKline, told the Lords that if there is a no-deal Brexit by 31 December then preliminary data shows there will be a slump in exports to the EU by 22.5%.
Even if there was a free trade agreement (FTA) this will also be bad as exports will fall by 22%.
She said that if there was an FTA along with a mutual recognition agreement between both, this would allow for goods manufacturing inspections and acceptance of batch testing performed either in the UK or the EU.
Dr Gill said under this scenario exports would decline by 12.6% which will see a reduce the loss in exports by around €1bn per year.
Dr Gill told the Lords, “Our European Federation for Pharmaceutical Industry and Association is conducting a study where they are looking at the cost estimates in relation to the free trade agreement and introduction of a mutual recognition agreement.
“Preliminary draft data that I can share today is showing that pharma exports are expected to drop by 22.5% in a no-deal, 22% in a simple free trade agreement so, this is one without mutual recognition.
“But only reduce by 12.6% in a scenario where we have a free trade agreement and a mutual recognition agreement.
“So, having a mutual recognition agreement would reduce the loss of exports by around two billion euro a year for the UK if we can have the free trade agreement and reach a mutual recognition agreement.
“Our biggest impact for our sector is having a mutual recognition agreement that supports good manufacturing inspections and allows the acceptance of batch testing performed either in the UK or the EU.”
She added, “We want to ensure the ease of movement of goods across borders and ensure we have swift access of our products to both patients and consumers, and this is our priority.
“In terms of costs and numbers, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry and Association has noted that every month 45m patient packs are supplied from the UK into Europe.
“Similarly, there are 37m packs supplied from Europe into the UK.
“Non-tariff barriers will introduce additional processes into that movement and, of note, is the requirement for duplicate testing.”