Science collaboration with EU ‘crucial’ after Brexit, says David Davis
6 Sep 2017
Brexit secretary David Davis said it is “crucial” the UK collaborates with its European partners on science and innovation after exiting the bloc.
Davis’ remarks coincide with a position paper issued today (6 September), in which the UK Government outlines how it intends to continue to work with European countries on science projects after Brexit.
These include a range of nuclear programmes – such as Euratom and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The UK will also continue to collaborate with European partners through international organisations that are not part of the EU.
Davis said: “This paper sends a clear message to the research and innovation community that we value their work and we feel it is crucial that we maintain collaboration with our European partners after we exit.
“We want to attract the brightest minds to the UK to build on the already great work being done across the country to ensure that our future is bright and we grow this important sector.”
In response, the Food and Drink Federation welcomed the government’s paper.
FDF chief scientific officer Helen Munday said: “Science and innovation is key to the competitiveness of the UK food and drink sector. It is positive that government is being proactive in considering the needs of the research community post-EU exit, and we welcome the approach of maintaining links with the EU science community.”
Manufacturers’ organisation EEF said the paper demonstrated an understanding to keep the UK at the leading edge of scientific innovation.
EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: “Government has shown positive intent by its willingness to pay a price for maintaining access to leading edge EU programmes. It should build on this by indicating how it will seek to maintain the UK’s current and significant influence around shared innovation priorities, which will need to be viewed in the context of a bold and ambitious industrial strategy.”