- Easy movement of skilled scientists, and of students, to and from the UK.
- Ensuring access to international research and development funding programmes and infrastructure and, crucially, the associated collaboration opportunities.
- Regulation that achieves a balance between nurturing innovation, protecting the environment and human health, and enabling the UK to trade internationally.
Over the last nine months, we have engaged with a range of key stakeholders to get these messages to government. We have provided evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on the crucial role that chemistry will play in the UK’s future regulatory regime and worked with our sister societies to call upon government to develop future immigration arrangements that keep UK science open to the world.
Our president, Professor Sir John Holman is representing the Council for Mathematical Sciences, Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Biology and Royal Society of Chemistry as a member of the Government’s High Level Stakeholder Working Group on EU Exit, Universities, Research and Innovation. This group provides an opportunity to engage with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the Department for Education; and the Department for Exiting the EU, on issues facing the science and innovation community as the UK exits the EU.
Last week, Stephen Metcalfe MP, chair of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and the Commons Science and Technology Committee, launched a document that outlined ‘Science priorities for Brexit’. These priorities were informed through consultation with over 20 organisations, including the Royal Society of Chemistry, and reflect the key areas that we have identified above.
“It is positive that the UK government has recognised science and innovation as one of their 12 negotiating objectives for EU exit,” commented John Holman, “As the negotiations triggered by today’s announcement progress we will work to inform and influence those negotiations, always seeking the best outcome for science and innovation.”