Ahead of a crucial vote in parliament today, the UK’s main pharma trade association has urged the politicians to avoid a ‘no deal’ scenario.

After Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit vote was defeated in Parliament last night, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Mike Thomson, said: “Pharmaceutical companies have done everything in their power to prepare for a ‘no deal’ Brexit. This includes increasing stocks of medicines, changing and adding new supply routes and duplicating manufacturing processes here and in Europe.

“Despite these efforts, we have always said that in a ‘no deal’ scenario we could face the very real possibility of disruption to the supply of some medicines.

“With just days remaining we need a solution which avoids a ‘no deal’ Brexit and the potential harm it could cause.”

Meanwhile, in a major new survey commissioned by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), nearly three quarters of the respondents said “no deal” would be very negative for UK science.

The society questioned 5,800 chemistry professionals from across the UK, EU and beyond with only four per cent saying they expected a positive impact on the sector.

Tanya Sheridan, Policy and Evidence Manager at the RSC, said: “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.

According to RSC, a ‘no deal Brexit’ will drop the output of the sector, currently worth £50bn, by at least 35%, which will mean the equivalent of a hit of £17.5bn to the UK economy.