Brexit – challenges and opportunities
Our international partnerships are a two-way journey and we all benefit from the creation and spread of shared knowledge.
EU and UK decision makers are continuing their discussions to determine what the EU and UK’s future relationship will look like. There is a renewed sense of urgency around the talks, given that an agreement needs to be reached in time for the meeting of the European Council in October. A deal would need to be ratified at this meeting in order to give sufficient time for both the UK and European parliaments to vote on it.
As Science Minister Sam Gyimah wrote in the last issue of Voice, the UK government sees cooperation on science and innovation as a key part of the future UK–EU relationship. In a speech at Jodrell Bank Observatory a few weeks ago, the UK Prime Minister confirmed her desire for ‘a deep science partnership with the European Union’. She went on to say the UK would be willing to pay an appropriate cost for association to Horizon Europe (the next EU science funding framework programme) in return for ‘a suitable level of influence’. All this is subject to negotiation, and we need the government to deliver on it.
What we’re doing now
The Royal Society of Chemistry, working with other organisations, has called for continued cooperation and collaboration between UK and EU scientists ever since the result of the referendum. Last month, we were one of over 50 signatories to the Future Partnerships statement, which outlines a vision for an ambitious and close future partnership between the UK and Europe.
The signatories of the statement come from across Europe and include the European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS), of which we are a leading member. As evidenced by EuCheMS’ own statement, the European chemistry community is united in wanting the UK and EU to continue to collaborate through the movement of people and UK participation in EU funding programmes.
We have been vocal in calling on the UK government to ensure that they address our community’s three priorities: funding and collaboration; mobility; and regulation. As we approach a critical phase in the negotiations, we, like many others in our community are calling on the UK and the EU to reach a deal on science and innovation that will support growth, prosperity and advancement of science across Europe and beyond.