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Brexit barriers could harm science – Benchmark – Specialist Lab Relocation

A group of leading UK universities have said that barriers to research collaboration in Europe as a result of Brexit could severely harm scientific progress.

Science and research should be a priority in the talks between the UK and the EU, says the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The group’s acting director, Tim Bradshaw said that any barriers “would be bad for the UK and bad for Europe”.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, is due to seek a formal mandate from the European Council in Brussels to begin the negotiations later today (May 23rd). Mr Barnier expects the talks to begin after the general election in June.

The Russel group says there will be “no winners” if Brexit results in barriers between researchers and has pledged to work with all parties to secure the best possible outcome for all involved.

Benchmark – Specialist Lab Relocation

Dr Bradshaw said there had been “huge breakthroughs in medicine, engineering, and any number of fields” as a result of joint working, which he promised would continue after Brexit.”
He continued: “We want to maintain the closest possible relationships with colleagues across the EU, and research must be a priority during talks,”

Dr Bradshaw called for the rights of EU students and staff working at universities in the UK to be guaranteed after Brexit.

“We value our EU colleagues very highly and need urgent assurances, that after Brexit, they will retain the same rights to stay and work in the UK that they have now.
“Nearly half of all UK academic articles result from international collaboration and EU member states are some of our biggest partners.

“These relationships improve the quality of UK research and underpin the strength of our science base.”

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Benchmark – Specialist Lab Relocation

UK universities are among the biggest beneficiaries of the EU’s huge Horizon 2020 research fund. Countries who are not in the EU can also draw on the fund if they contribute to it – but a major condition of countries being able to participate is allowing freedom of movement for researchers, a potential stumbling block in the talks.

Benchmark – Specialist Lab Relocation

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