Brexit and science

Brexit and science

Prospect is proud to represent 50,000 scientists, engineers and technical specialists across all major sectors of the economy.

We are concerned that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union will have significant and challenging implications for science, technology, engineering and mathematics funding, collaboration and skills.

Science is an international endeavour and continued free movement is vitally important both to the public interest and the wider economy.  

EU nationals working in STEM professions make a critical contribution to their employing organisations – withdrawing this source of labour would jeopardise capacity, operational delivery and reputation.

Prospect is campaigning for:

  • Guaranteed rights for EU nationals already working in the UK to remain.
  • Continued international mobility for scientists, including for UK citizens to work in other EU countries.
  • Rejection of the Migration Advisory Committee’s recommendations to increase the salary thresholds for Tier 2 of the points-based immigration system for EU nationals.
  • Assurances about funding post-2020: Although the Autumn Statement 2016 announced welcome additional funding for R&D, it is not yet clear where this will be allocated or whether it will replace key EU funding streams when the EU’s own legal commitments to honour these payments ends.
  • Early clarity about the UK’s relationship with the EU (and other countries) to provide assurance to international science networks and mitigate against the UK being frozen out of collaborative proposals.
  • Strong repudiation of incidences of racism and xenophobia wherever and whenever they occur.
  • Engagement with stakeholders in developing a long-term strategy for UK science.

Blog posts

We need certainty on Brexit – this deal does not provide it

When the Prime Minister announced last week that she had concluded the text of a Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union, it should have brought some much-needed clarity to the Brexit process. Instead it has brought more chaos and confusion.

female scientist

DEFRA and Britain’s science and technology sector must be protected through Brexit

It feels like groundhog day. Yet another week goes by and we’re still waiting for detailed updates on government policy on areas that will change because of Brexit.

EU referendum

With a year to go, it's time for some answers on Brexit

Throughout the Brexit process the formal negotiations have been accompanied by a rhetorical to and fro between London and Brussels that has often generated headlines, but rarely shed any light the serious questions facing the country. In a crowded field, Michael Howard threatening war with Spain over Gibraltar stands out...


Brexit is the real threat to our energy security

The issue of the security of our energy supply was given a brief flash of prominence last week when defence secretary Gavin Williamson warned that the Russians may target our energy infrastructure as part of an attack on the UK.

Palace of Westminster after dark

EU and UK flags on a flat surface

BAME would like to meet … Brexit

On the 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU. The UK government has now reached an agreement with the EU on citizens’ rights. The agreement will provide EU citizens and family members living in the UK certainty about their rights and, most importantly, allow them to stay here....

Brexit flags

Update on Brexit and Pensions

A previous blog covered the potential impact of Brexit on the pensions of Prospect members who move between the UK and the rest of the EU during their careers or after they retire.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy

We have reached a tipping point on Brexit and pay

Prospect is known for its measured, evidence-based approaches, focused on putting members first and retaining our political independence.

Brexit Scrabble

What could Brexit mean for your pension?

Brexit will impact us in many different ways but will it have a significant impact on our pensions in retirement?

chimney and pylons at Sellafield nuclear site

Why it’s time for a New Deal for UK Nuclear

UK nuclear is at a crossroads. On the one hand it faces immense challenges in the form of Brexit, concerns over new build, a lack of leadership from government and a potentially serious skills shortfall. On the other hand, there are huge economic opportunities – if we can seize them. ...