This position is based on evidence including a survey conducted in February, where according to our community:
- 84% think 'no-deal' would be negative for UK science and innovation, less than 5% think it would be positive.
- 75% think EU framework programmes benefit UK science and innovation, less than 5% think their impact is negative.
- 88% think UK should prioritise harmonising chemicals regulations, globally or with the EU. Only 4% said the UK should prioritise developing its own rules and standards.
Despite this, we are still in the position where no deal is possible and current Government policy is to leave the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal. The RSC is working to ensure our community is as prepared as possible, most recently with the updated 'Brexit Preparedness' pages on our website. These pages provide summaries of what the Government recommends people and businesses should do to prepare for Brexit in the event of a deal and no deal. We strongly recommend that, where applicable, members and the broader community act diligently and follow the Government’s advice as signposted in these pages.
We have also been working to ensure our views are heard by key decision makers in Whitehall and Parliament. This includes:
We will be seeking the community’s views on funding and investment, and immigration through round table discussions at our Chemistry Means Business event in October and will have representation at many of the Party conferences. With a general election likely sooner rather than later, we will also be setting out a series of policy proposals in the coming weeks to inform all parties' thinking by highlighting the importance of UK science and innovation. We would welcome contributions and please do check out the Policy pages on our website for updates in the coming weeks.
We face uncertain times but there are things we can and will do to mitigate risks. The RSC remains firm in its belief that no deal damages the UK’s reputation, influence and status as a world leader in science and innovation. As we have repeatedly said, access to EU funding programmes, to talent, and to shared regulations are all interlinked and are the building blocks of the UK’s success. Together they build the UK’s success and reputation as a key player in global science. These links must be nurtured and cherished – no deal is not an option for UK chemical sciences.