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Since my update last week, the wider consequences of the outcome of the EU Referendum have continued to play out with the various political dynamics continuing to evolve, both with uncertainty over the future Labour leadership and the process underway to select the new Conservative leader (and by default the new Prime Minister) with one notable exception in the candidate list following Boris Johnson’s statement that he would not stand.

However, much of what I said last week remains true this week. The UK remains in the EU with all usual rules applying and this will continue until the UK is no longer within the EU. This process will not start until the government triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (not likely until this autumn at the very earliest), after which there will be a 2-year window to negotiate a deal. As such it will take months and years, not days and weeks until the new environment becomes clear.

That prolonged timetable however is not a cause for complacency and the BIA has been busy over the last 10 days to ensure our sector’s voice is heard in this period. Last week I attended the Europabio Board meetings where I was able to update our European colleagues on our stance and hear their perspectives. I have also been busy working with Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP in establishing a new Life Sciences Task Force to scope out the issues affected by the vote for the sector and to work up proposals to feed into the government-led negotiation.  An important kick-off meeting takes place this week which I will update upon in due course.

I’m looking forward to discussing these issues and more on Thursday at our annual Parliament Day. We’ve lined up meetings with key policymakers including Innovate UK CEO Ruth McKernan, Sir John Savill, the Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Neville-Rolfe, three special advisors, ten MPs and key civil servants in the Departments of BIS, DH and HM Treasury. All to be wrapped up by Life Science Minister, George Freeman, and followed by our Summer Reception at the IET London, Savoy Place, in the evening. Looking forward to an insightful and productive day and to a more informal catch up with many of you at the Summer Reception.

Following our UK CEO and Investor Forum on the 22/23 June, some of the highlights and photos are available on the blog – do take a look here.

The Science Industry Partnership (SIP) has published its first SIP Skills Strategy, based on a major research exercise into the skills required through to 2025 in order to ensure a globally competitive science industry sector – which includes the chemicals, pharmaceuticals, bio-technology and medical technology industries. The Strategy contains key recommendations, calling for collaboration between Government, industry and education providers to deliver the skilled workforce the industry needs. This builds on the significant achievements of the SIP so far – which include delivery of over 6000 individual learners into the science sector in a two year period. You can download the report here.

Best

Steve