No winners from Brexit research barriers

22 May 2017

The Russell Group today warned there would be no winners from a Brexit settlement that introduced new barriers restricting international research collaboration.

Highlighting the value of collaborations between the UK’s leading research intensive universities and their partners in Europe, Acting Director of the Russell Group Dr Tim Bradshaw called on EU and UK negotiators to make science and research a priority during Brexit talks.

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As the EU Council today (Monday 22 May) prepared to authorise the opening of Brexit negotiations with the UK, Dr Bradshaw said that a good outcome for science will not happen by accident and pledged that the Russell Group will work with all sides to secure a positive outcome.

Commenting, Dr Bradshaw said:

“Working together, Russell Group universities and European partners have made huge breakthroughs in medicine, engineering and any number of other fields. Joint working will continue after Brexit but there would be no winners from restrictive new barriers to collaboration. That would be bad for the UK and bad for Europe.

“As the EU Council prepares to authorise the opening of Brexit negotiations, the message from the Russell Group is clear. We want to maintain the closest possible relationship with colleagues across the EU, and research must be a priority during talks.

“This starts with confirmation of the rights of our friends, colleagues and students from other EU Member States. The 86,000 citizens of other EU Member States who work and study at Russell Group universities help ensure our institutions remain dynamic and innovative. 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.

“A good outcome for science will not happen by accident. Securing a strong deal for the UK and the EU will take hard work and we will engage constructively with all sides to ensure we get an agreement that delivers on research.

“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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