Responding to the UK government’s announcement of a new fast-track visa route to attract the best researchers, Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said:
“The Royal Society has long called for reform of the UK’s costly and complex visa system which acts as a barrier to attracting the best international talent.
“We welcome the government's objective of supporting science by facilitating immigration of researchers at all levels, and look forward to discussing the details of a new immigration system.
“The Society believes we should trust our universities and research institutes to make the right choices when identifying talented individuals the UK needs to guarantee our position among the leading scientific nations.
“But the fact remains, half of international academic talent in UK universities comes from the European Union and the EU is our single largest research collaborator.
“Alongside immigration reform, therefore, maintaining close working ties with researchers in Europe and access to EU research funding, are essential.
“A 'no-deal' exit from the EU is the worst option for science.”
Read more about the Society's work on Brexit and UK science.