In this video, Dr Mike Galsworthy addresses an accusation that British academics who support UK membership are only doing so because they get grants from the EU. The accusation has been repeated by UKIP and by Daniel Hannan, who even has a video called “EU sock puppets” where a list of those who support the EU (various charities, UK universities, the CBI, etc) are portrayed as being in the pockets of the EU… because they have won some of their grants from the EU.
Is this a fair accusation? Well ironically, the experience of UK scientists with EU grants and systems is exactly why they are perfectly placed to judge the added value of the EU. Ultimately the EU grant money comes from UK contributions to the EU budget. In fact, the UK is a net contributor to the EU budget year on year. If UK scientists really cared only about the money, shouldn’t they be demanding that the UK government pays them directly, rather than routing it through the EU middleman at a loss?
Clearly they are not – why is that?
In the video, we explain the unique value of the EU science fund and what it adds that we could not replicate nationally. As you will see, it is not a case of scientists being bought out by anyone’s funds, but rather that they believe national funding plus EU-level funding empowers them to do better science than they could with the same money, or more, through national funding alone.
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