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BSI response to Science & Technology Committee report on implications of Brexit for science

8 November 2016  
      
The House of Commons Science and Technology have today released a report entitled "Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research". In this report, they call on the Government to reduce Brexit uncertainty for the science sector by making an immediate commitment to exempt EU scientists and researchers already working in the UK from wider potential immigration controls.  They also recommend that the Government acts quickly to set out their vision of science and commit to raising science expenditure as a percentage of GDP.
      
In response to this report, Professor Peter Openshaw, President of the British Society for Immunology, said:
      
“The UK ranks first amongst the G7 nations for our research in immunity and infectious diseases and a large component of this success has been our ability to attract the brightest and best minds from around the world to work in UK labs.   These gifted colleagues make a huge contribution to the vitally important research carried out in this country, which positively impacts millions of lives.  We agree with the report by the Science and Technology Committee, which recommends that urgent steps are taken to ensure our international colleagues continue to feel welcome and valued in our labs and by our society.
      
“The future of science was not on the ballot paper in June but the referendum decision undoubtedly has significant and wide-ranging implications for the research landscape in our country.  The Committee is right to highlight these complex issues which will be brought about when the UK leaves the European Union.  Science is a global pursuit and, as such, the Government needs to take action now to ensure that the UK’s research base is resilient and can continue to flourish in the years ahead.”
      
      
The BSI has produced a number of reports and briefing documents highlighting our views on the priority issues relating to science that the Government must manage in navigating the UK's exit from the EU: