“It is crucial that as we leave the European Union we do not jeopardise the UK’s flourishing research ecosystem. Ensuring that global science can continue to thrive through close cooperation and collaboration between the UK and the EU, as well as the rest of the world is in everyone’s best interests.”
Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society.
In order to deliver the UK Government’s commitment to maintaining the UK’s position as one of the best places in the world for science and innovation. It must address three key areas:
- Mobility and collaboration. Mobility of talent is crucial to the conduct of cutting edge of research and innovation. We must send a strong message that the UK will always be a welcoming country for talent. The UK must continue to be able to access easily the EU-wide talent pool that provides 17% of our university staff and over two thirds of the founders of UK based start-ups. We must also ensure that the UK continues to collaborate with European partners, and that individuals with skills essential to the research endeavour can travel with ease and maintain and build the international networks that are central to its progress.
- Funding: Investment is crucial to maintaining a successful research and innovation system. Just as leaving the EU must not harm collaborations between UK and EU partners, it must not lead to any reduction in funding for UK research.
- Regulation: It is critical that we identify areas of regulation where continued alignment with EU rules is most important for the UK, and where we choose to do so, that UK experts continue to be able to influence EU policy development. We should take the opportunity to pioneer new regulatory approaches on emerging technologies, and to take a leading position on international markets.
The Royal Society has identified the following immediate goals for the negotiations:
- Unambiguous guarantees on the rights of EEA citizens currently resident in the UK
- Removal of students from the immigration target numbers
- Commitment to full participation in Horizon 2020 until the conclusion of that EU research programme as a transition to the closest possible association with the successor Framework Programme 9.
These three initial steps would send a strong signal of the UK’s intention to be a global, outward-looking nation.
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