UKRO has informed us that the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has published a report into the implications of leaving the EU for UK science and research, which states that the Government must send a clear message that it intends to protect the UK’s strength in science. It suggests that the Autumn Statement is used to commit to raising the UK’s expenditure on science R&D to 3% of GDP to demonstrate a determination to negotiate a post-Brexit relationship that is good for science and science collaborations.
In particular, it recommends that:
- Government should develop a comprehensive strategy to communicate messages of ongoing support for the science and research community in the context of its Brexit plans;
- Government should be mindful of the need to clarify future immigration rules so that the UK continues to attract top-quality researchers;
- An immediate commitment should be made to EU researchers currently working in the UK, to exempt them from any potential outfall arising from Brexit negotiations;
- The interim Chair of UKRI should be formally appointed to act as a ‘bridge’ between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU); and
- DexEU should appoint a Chief Scientific Advisor as a matter of priority.