Welcome to the BIA Brexit Portal

This website contains guidance on the UK's future relationship with the EU for biotech businesses and the life sciences sector.

There is continuing uncertainty about the potential nature of the future relationship with Europe and trade with the rest of the world. Our aim is to provide access to relevant advice and information so that businesses can make informed decisions and prepare appropriately.

Latest updates

Watch our latest Brexit webinar from the 5 March on our Youtube channel: Brexit Briefing Webinar

The Transition Period

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement a transition period is now in effect which runs from 1 February to 31 December 2020.

During this period medicines and devices regulation will stay aligned with the EU. There are no changes to market access, licensing, packaging, batch release and testing, however there are some changes to the status of the MHRA. For more details please refer to the regulation and IP page of this site.

Any extension to the transition period would need to be agreed by the UK and EU by 1 July 2020. But the government has said that it will not agree to an extension, so the UK could still leave without a future relationship or trade agreement in place on 31 December 2020.

The government’s plan means that UK life sciences businesses need to be ready for the additional costs and time of increased trade friction and the potential for extra regulatory processes from 1 January 2021.

The UK's future relationship with the EU

Negotiations are now underway between the UK and EU on the terms of a future relationship. The UK Government has published its objectives for these negotiations and the EU Commission has also published a set of negotiating directives which were agreed with EU member states.

We want to see early progress in the negotiations to secure a pragmatic and business-friendly trading relationship between the UK and the EU.

Disappointingly for our sector, which had called for a deep and close future relationship, the Government’s vision is not as ambitious as we had hoped for. However, the Government has recognised the need to seek agreement in areas vital for the continued operation of our sector.

The BIA will continue to work closely with the Government to secure the UK’s place as a globally competitive biotech hub for the benefit of patients and the broader economy through these and other trade negotiations.