Press release: for immediate release
Scientists for EU response to the House of Lords final report on EU membership and UK Science
This inquiry has been running since 2015, collecting over 70 written submissions and dozens of oral testimonies. It’s been a huge “warts and all” analysis of our current working relationship with the EU on science. As the final report says, the overwhelming balance of opinion is for remaining in.
The reason for this concerns the huge added value derived from the EU science programme, shared science policies, shared infrastructure and freedom of movement. Many submissions to the inquiry noted that EU science is a rapidly rising success with the UK in the driving seat. The report makes clear that leaving the EU would give up our policy influence and jeopardise the depth of our involvement on something we have worked so hard to build.
The loss of ability to shape EU policy would be a huge blow to UK science, whether we manage to obtain Associate Member status or not. Even achieving full Associate Member status would be difficult given our size on the programme and priorities of those who wish us to leave the EU, including the risk of cancelling the freedom of movement agreement that underpins our role on the programme and serves our universities and small innovative businesses so well.
The report is no campaigning document. It is about the nuts and bolts of an evolving system. However, the end conclusion is clear as from over 70 written submissions, the inquiry noted only two, which are from campaigns Vote Leave and Scientists for Britain, that advocated a Brexit. The rest of the testimony was fully in line with recent surveys on the science community indicating that the “overwhelming balance of opinion” valued the UK’s full membership of the EU.
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