Government publishes paper on science after Brexit

6 September 2017        

Category: BHF Comment

Today the Government has published its position paper on Science and Brexit. This long-awaited paper sets out what the UK would like to see from a new relationship with the EU when it comes to scientific research.

EU and UK flags fly in the wind

The paper (Collaboration on science and innovation: a future partnership) emphasises the importance of continued international collaboration on science and innovation, highlighting evidence from a joint report on collaboration that the BHF and others published earlier in the year.

It also sets out the Government’s intention to explore future cooperation with several EU programmes and bodies, including EU research funding programmes and the European Medicines Agency.

World-leading science

The paper makes clear that the Government is committed to maintaining the UK’s status as a world leader in science and innovation and strengthening its science and research base, which already includes four of the world’s top ten universities, a world class intellectual property regime and more Nobel Laureates than any country outside the United States.

Research saves lives

Our Chief Executive, Simon Gillespie, said:

“This paper will give some confidence to the global medical research community, partially addressing their concerns about the future of EU science funding and opportunities for international collaboration. However, we need further commitments about the status of EU scientists in the UK, which will influence our ability to attract and retain the people needed to carry out world-class research.

“Research flourishes in an environment of confidence, stability and collaboration. Scientists in the UK are making long-term decisions about the future of their research right now. Those decisions will shape the UK’s position as a global research leader, so it’s essential that as negotiations progress, scientists are continually given the reassurance they need.

“Ultimately, research matters because it’s helping to save and improve lives. There are 7 million people in the UK living with cardiovascular disease and they expect to see UK research remain at the forefront of international breakthroughs that benefit patients.”

read our blog summarising the paper