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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

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. ...

EU parliament

EU citizens’ rights – worrying gaps in government’s proposals

The government’s long-awaited proposals on the position of EU citizens living in the UK bring a welcome end to the prolonged vacuum of uncertainty, but still leave many questions unanswered.

Members who came along to listen to Nicola Braganza at Prospect’s event

Politicians must protect our high-skilled EU migrants after Brexit

I was brought up to see myself as a European. My mum was a language teacher and my dad a scientist. We frequently played host to visiting researchers or stray foreign exchange students. We had Asterix books in five languages, back-to-school stationery from France and Christmas decorations from German markets. ...

Westminster signpost and Big Ben

Brexit, employment rights and the general election

With news of a general election in June, now is the time to ensure that workers’ rights are high on the political agenda.

Brexit flags

Lost bill sets out ‘Gold standard’ for workers’ rights

A private members’ bill to ensure that the government keeps its promise to protect workers’ rights post-Brexit was talked out by Conservative MPs on 13 January.

Brexit Scrabble

The Prime Minister’s Brexit speech: some more clarity, but many questions still to be answered

Arguably, the Prime Minister’s speech on Tuesday didn’t tell us much we didn’t already know about the Government’s approach to the impending Brexit negotiations. But it was important in providing much more explicit confirmation of some fundamental priorities and parameters that, up till now, had to be inferred from broad...

Scotish Saltire and European Union Flag

Mitigating the impact of Brexit on workers in Scotland

Just as in the rest of the UK, Prospect’s Scotland team has been working hard to ensure that members’ concerns about leaving the European Union are raised at the highest level possible. As members will know, the popular vote in Scotland did not support Brexit and we are lucky to have...

EU referendum

Euro fright night at the London School of Economics

The European Union faces an existential crisis – and the remedy is not fragmentation, but more political engagement, debate and democracy, according to a high-level panel discussion on Brexit and the future for Europe at the London School of Economics at the end of October.