Paul Nurse restates warning about impact of no-deal on science

Paul Nurse

As Brexit discussions continue and in advance of Wednesday’s European Council summit, the Crick's director Paul Nurse reiterates why no-deal would be so damaging to science.

"Science matters to us all. The treatments and cures of tomorrow are grounded in today’s science. A no-deal Brexit puts all that at risk. It must be avoided at all costs.

I speak for every scientist at the Crick when I say that. Without exception, they agree that leaving the EU without a deal would be a disaster. It would set back scientific progress and do long-term damage to the UK’s research links with the EU. We can prepare for the short-term impact; the Crick has already taken steps, including measures to manage our supply chain. But we can’t prevent the long-term effects.

Modern science wouldn’t be what it is without international collaboration. Collaboration is crucial for tackling climate change, finding new treatments for cancer and addressing the burden of dementia.That is why the UK must not cut itself off from its closest research partners in Europe.

After Brexit, scientists must be able to move easily across Europe. They must be able to participate fully in EU programmes. They must be able to continue working seamlessly with partners across the channel. Remaining in the EU would be the best way of achieving that, but, if we must leave, we urgently need a deal to provide certainty in these areas.

For any deal to work, we also need political goodwill between the UK and the EU. Only through collaboration and compromise can we secure a strong and positive future relationship. The UK is a leader in European science, but our position is at risk. We need a deal that protects our science and our future."  

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