The Easter holidays came to an abrupt end with the PM’s call of a snap General Election on Tuesday morning. With 522 votes to 13, Parliament strongly voted in favour of the early election on Wednesday.
We responded to the PM’s announcement with our initial thoughts. Last Friday we posted a blog that outlines what looks set to happen to existing workstreams now the general election has been called. It’s well worth a look. This week the key thing to watch is parliamentary “wash up”- especially government legislation to enable UKRI and the medicine supply bill. Also expect to see a flurry of select committee reports published hastily. This was the first in a series of BIA blogs on the election that we’ll be publishing over the coming weeks to keep you informed. Future topics will include:
- Which MPs are standing for election and who is standing down
- What the parties have recently said on Life Sciences and in their 2015 manifestos. We will then follow up with an analysis of the new party manifestos
- Key messages from our sector for MP candidates
The BIA has created a timeline of key dates leading up to the election and beyond. Our Parliament day on 6 July will ensure that our members are fully engaged with the new Parliament and Government less than a month of its establishment.
On behalf of the sector and our members, the BIA has responded to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper on the Wednesday before Easter. In our response, we highlighted that the UK has some of the world’s most exciting science, a supportive business environment, and strong companies led by experienced management team. The Industrial Strategy is an opportunity to build a global bioscience cluster on par with the leading clusters in Boston and the San Francisco Bay area.
While the General Election creates further political uncertainty for policy proposals like the Government’s Industrial Strategy, the BIA is ready to work with the next Government to reflect the potential and ambition of our sector. In our response to the Industrial Strategy, we outlined what the Government can do to further promote and support the life sciences including addressing the UK’s chronic shortness of scale-up capital and attracting global management talent. We will be sharing these with all the major political parties as they produce their new manifestos. Read our full response here.
On Thursday, the BIA organised one of our popular Networking Breakfasts. This time, the panel discussion focused on the Patient Capital Review and what it means for the biotech sector.
It was great to see and talk to many of our members. We heard interesting discussions from our outstanding panel with representatives from the Treasury, Wellcome Trust, the London Stock Exchange, Perella Weinberg Partners, and the Industry Advisory Panel for the Patient Capital Review. Many thanks to the panel and for Taylor Wessing for kindly hosting the event.
Today, we published the first Quarterly Update for 2017 as a part of our ongoing series of documents “Influencing and shaping our sector”. The update gives an overview of key policy developments and the BIA’s continued engagement with policymakers, regulatory authorities and wider stakeholders on behalf of the UK life sciences industry, from January to April 2017.
The BIA will continue to represent the interest of our members throughout the election process to ensure that our sector is given a prominent voice. The blogs we have planned will also provide a timely commentary on the election process and party positioning on issues important to our sector.