An international survey commissioned by the Royal Society of Chemistry has revealed the scale of Brexit concern in the sector across the UK, EU and beyond.

Of the 5,800 professional respondents, only 4% expect a positive impact on the sector as a result of Brexit, while 72% say that a ‘no-deal’ scenario will be very negative for UK science.

The results provide the clearest evidence yet that the change would be potentially catastrophic for science and innovation in the UK, as chemistry is worth £50 billion to the UK economy, but a Bank of England report last year said the sector’s output would drop by as much as 35% - the equivalent of a hit of £17.5 billion to the economy.

Tanya Sheridan, policy and evidence manager at the Royal Society of Chemistry, commented on the statistics: “For 72% of respondents to say a no-deal Brexit would be ‘very negative’ should be a sobering reminder for government about the potential impacts this could have on UK science and innovation.

“We are now counting down in days to the deadline for crashing out of the EU without a deal. It is absolutely crucial for the chemical sciences and the hundreds of thousands working in industry and academia who feel they are being hung out to dry over this uncertainty.

“It is vital the government ensures a good deal for science and innovation that supports jobs and allows both academia and industry to maintain the UK’s world-leading position. No deal is not an option for the chemical sciences.”