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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

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.

EU parliament

EU-Canada trade deal – signed, sealed but not yet delivered

European Union countries voted to ratify the Canada-EU trade deal known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on 18 October 2016.  


Brussels trade deals threaten UK workers’ rights

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the EU and the US has hit many stumbling blocks from opponents.

EU parliament

Brexit - the early aftermath for pensions

A pensions blog written back in June before the Referendum in June, outlined some possible ramifications for defined benefit pension schemes if there was a vote to leave the EU.

EU flat

Brexit brings opportunities for UK defence sector

The decision by the British people to leave the European Union has created an opportunity to re-invigorate the British defence industry. There are many commentators wringing their hands in despair of the result and yet it is an opportunity to safeguard and expand British industry, and an opportunity that should...

Clouds over a field

We can all help make the UK a little less ugly

One of the first social media posts I saw after the EU referendum result commented that the UK had become a poorer and uglier place.

Palace of Westminster after dark

Politically Independent … Politically Influential...

In the aftermath of the EU referendum, the resulting performances across the political spectrum have reinforced for me, that Prospect’s party political independence is one of our biggest strengths.