LibLink: Norman Lamb Don’t let science suffer as the collateral damage in Brexit negotiations

Norman Lamb has written for Politics Home about the dangers to science from Brexit. He’s holding a debate today on the issue:

In today’s House of Commons debate, I want to get answers from the Science Minister on whether an accord on science and innovation is going to be struck, and whether the groundwork can be laid so that we can keep vital science collaboration afloat in a no-deal scenario. I also want to hear about whether he is making progress to strike a deal on participation in Horizon Europe—the 100 billion euro programme that will replace Horizon 2020. The Minister has previously said that the UK should have a suitable level of influence in the programme, but the science and innovation community needs urgent clarity on this point. The time for prevaricating is over.

Meanwhile, we’re also no clearer on what a new immigration system for skilled EEA nationals will look like after the planned transition period. Before the summer recess, my Committee decided to roll up its sleeves and produce its own proposals for an immigration system that works for science and innovation.

He underlines the importance of science to this country:

This country is home to four of the world’s top ten universities and has more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the United States. The UK is second only to Germany in the proportion of funding it wins from EU framework programmes—over 15% of the total pot. We are a science superpower, with an outstanding reputation for excellence and international collaboration.

And highlights the dangers from Brexit:

And yet the Government’s ‘technical notes’ released recently confirm just how badly science needs a robust pact of its own if we run into a ‘no-deal’ scenario. The campaign group Scientists for EU has calculated that the UK stands to lose half a billion pounds a year in a no-deal scenario based on the warnings in the Government’s note, due to being ineligible to receive certain kinds of EU funding including European Research Council grants.

You can read the whole article here. 

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