MPs and scientists condemn Government’s science position paper

Commenting on the Government’s Brexit position paper on ‘collaboration on science and innovation’, published today, Norman Lamb MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:

“The Government’s recognition of the value of cooperation with the EU on science and innovation is welcome.  The sector is vital to the British economy and it needs a Brexit deal that does not harm its links with Europe.  Unfortunately, this paper is short on solutions.

“I am seriously worried that the Government’s red line on the ECJ is a serious impediment to scientific co-operation, whether on medicines, nuclear or space cooperation.

“It seems inevitable to me that we will of course have to make financial contributions in order to retain access to Horizon 2020 and other programmes, which implies Brexit will not cause the savings to the public finances promised by the Leave campaign. Britain risks going from being a net recipient of EU science funding to being a net contributor.”

Also commenting, Dr Mike Galsworthy, Co-Director of Scientists for EU, said:

“UK scientists overwhelmingly support the EU science programme and Vote Leave pledged to continue it. The UK-EU science relationship has been a huge success story and all efforts should be made to continue it.”

Dr Rob Davison, Co-Director of Scientists for EU, said:

“The key problems for science are the two ‘red lines’ of restricting Freedom of Movement and not being subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ. This paper fails to address either of these and as a result perpetuates the damage being caused to UK research and technology by Brexit uncertainty.”