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Royal Society response to science and innovation position paper

06 September 2017

The Government has today published a position paper on science and innovation, setting out its objectives as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. 

In response, Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said:

“The Government have clearly recognised the many benefits to being a part of EU research and innovation and why the UK should seek a very close relationship after Brexit. The paper is very encouraging in both its tone and aspirations for an ambitious agreement to continue our close relationship with EU science and is very welcome. 

“However, this is just a first step and much work needs to be done to work out the conditions that ensure our continued close collaboration with the EU.  That is necessary to dispel the uncertainty that continues to pose a threat to our position as a global scientific power. 

“Rapid progress including a financial commitment to Horizon 2020 until its end and guarantees about the status of the highly skilled EU researchers already working here must be delivered soon. We also need to commit to being part of the next EU research programme and be part of discussions to shape it. We have to implement an immigration system that can attract the brightest and best minds to the UK, and a regulatory system that promotes seamless collaboration.

“Science has always transcended national borders and there is a real will on all sides to ensure that Brexit does not hinder that. The intent expressed by the Government can provide the basis to strike what can be a win-win outcome that could set a positive tone for negotiations on other issues.”