AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) chief executive officer Pascal Soriot has expressed concerns about the potentially sudden Brexit.
Soriot expressed his concerns on Saturday, stating that the talks have rendered it impossible for him to sign a public letter of support that seeks support for the strategy of the British government. A recent report from Reuters stated that Prime Minister Theresa May’s office had requested that companies registered in the blue-chip FTSE 100 index should put down their names in the public letter to facilitate the success of the Brexit agenda. The CEO expressed concerns because Brexit could potentially disrupt already existing trade deals facilitated by the EU.
“The reason I didn’t sign is that I felt there are so many areas that are still uncertain. How can we support something that we don’t really understand fully?” Soriot told Reuters during an interview.
Soriot further stated that there is a lot of uncertainty about the future of trade and if Brexit takes place in 2019 it could disrupt the export of medicine. He stated that the one thing that really worries him is the potential of a hard Brexit. The CEO also stated that companies will most likely be hit hard especially if there is no extension period because the UK will come out of the EU without trade agreements. He noted that AstraZeneca is currently exporting under the trade agreement between China and the EU which is why it is important for his company to know whether it will be disrupted by Brexit.
AstraZeneca is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Britain and it makes a significant share of the drugs that are sold in the northern region of England. Its products are also sold globally and especially in major markets such as China. The letter which the AstraZeneca CEO and executives from other companies are supposed to sign seeks to express their confidence in Britain’s potential to become one of the most productive economies.
AstraZeneca stock closed the latest trading session on Friday at $32.25 after a 1.13 percent gain compared to the value of the stock during the previous close.