Paul Nurse responds to proposed Brexit deal

Paul Nurse comments on proposed Brexit deal.

The British government has now published documents outlining a proposed agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute, said:

"While I don’t doubt the government’s good intentions towards science, it seems that when the chips are down science just doesn’t make the cut. The proposed deal offers no reassurances that we’ll still be able to hire talented European researchers, maintain Britain’s scientific leadership role or fund science properly after Brexit.

"While the additional certainty this proposed deal would offer to EU citizens in the UK is welcome, it presently says nothing about highly skilled European scientists being able to work here and support our research endeavour in future. For UK science to continue to flourish, the government needs to be much more welcoming, both in tone and in policy.

"This proposal is better for science than no deal at all, but that is not saying much. Beyond the transition period, the UK still stands to lose £1bn a year that we currently get from the EU science budget and it’s not clear how this might be replaced. The Treasury needs to commit to protecting this funding long-term.

"This news is disappointing to UK scientists who want science to thrive in the future, and it should be disappointing to UK citizens, given the important role that science will play in the future success of our country."

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