Half way through the negotiations, Brexit makes the United Kingdom a less attractive country for researchers

  • The Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) publishes a new statement with their members’ concerns and proposes measures to mitigate the effects of Brexit.
  • For researchers living in the UK, the uncertainty focuses on changes in the immigration policy and the access to European research funds.
  • In Spain, the number of researchers who consider the United Kingdom an attractive professional destination decreases.London, March 29, 2018. A year after the activation of Article 50, the Brexit negotiations are half way through. The Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) publishes an updated statement with the current concerns of their members on the impact of Brexit and proposes a series of measures to mitigate the impact on researchers in the United Kingdom.
    This statement is based on the results of two surveys that SRUK/CERU has carried out among its members in the United Kingdom and researchers living in Spain, and the conclusions of the summit on Brexit, Science and Innovation organized by the Science and Technology Committee (S&TC) from the House of Commons of the British Parliament. At this meeting, held in London on February 22, SRUK/CERU contributed to the identification of the necessary actions to mitigate risks and seize opportunities in science, research and innovation for the United Kingdom after Brexit.
    The survey among researchers living in the United Kingdom shows their concerns are still focused on possible changes in residency status and access to European research funds. Almost 90% of the respondents would choose another country in the European Union to continue their research in the case of moving abroad from the United Kingdom. In addition, only 15% would move to the United Kingdom under the current circumstances. Among researchers in Spain, the results of the survey indicate that 70% of respondents now consider the United Kingdom a less attractive country to carry out their research career and only 26.9% of the respondents still consider the United Kingdom equally attractive.
    After the participation in the summit on Brexit, Science and Innovation organized by the S&TC of the House of Commons of the British Parliament and in view of its conclusions, SRUK/CERU proposes the adoption of measures that ensure the participation of the United Kingdom in multilateral research programs like the FP9; the prioritization of investment in research, science and technology to boost the competitiveness of the British economy; a clear expression of interest in keeping the doors open to research, science and technology and the strengthening of evidence-based policies in the guidelines that will support the Brexit negotiations. The president of SRUK/CERU, Dr Estrella Luna Díez concludes that “it is essential that the British government puts its efforts in strengthening the communication strategy to show researchers, both inside and outside its borders, that the United Kingdom wants to maintain its international status and that European researchers are welcome.”

 

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