British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she wants to ensure a positive outcome for science in negotiations to leave the European Union.
Theresa May has said that the UK is “enriched by the best minds from Europe and around the world”.
She states that providing reassurance to them and to UK scientists working in Europe will be a “priority”.
Mrs May’s comments were made in a letter that was written five days after she became PM.
The Prime Minister wrote to one of the country’s leading scientists, Professor Sir Paul Nurse, who is director of the Francis Crick Institute in London and a former president of the Royal Society.
In the letter she states: “I wanted to write to you to make clear that the Government’s ongoing commitment to science and research remains steadfast”.
She adds that her government is committed to protecting science and research funding in real terms.
Mrs May also tells the Nobel Prize winner that the reorganization of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy “does not signal any reduction in the very high priority I attach to teaching and research”.
And crucially on Brexit she says: “I would like to reassure you about the government’s commitment to ensuring a positive outcome for UK science as we exit the European Union. While we negotiate a new relationship with our European partners, we are not turning our backs on European scientists.”
The UK receives £850m in research funds from the European Union each year. Full membership of one of the main EU funding programmes requires free movement of labor. British universities employ 30,000 scientists with EU citizenship.
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