UK biomedical research lab Francis Crick Institute has warned that a hard or ‘no-deal’ Brexit could negatively impact the science and research across the country.
A survey of more than 1,000 staff members at the institute found that 97% of scientists believed hard Brexit would have an adverse effect.
Furthermore, the survey found that 50% of the scientists are less likely to stay in the UK when they leave the institute, while only 7% are confident that the country will continue to attract leading scientists.
Francis Crick Institute director Paul Nurse said: “A hard Brexit raises the concern that there could be a significant loss of scientists from the UK, particularly the young scientific talent upon which the country’s future will depend.
“This will greatly diminish our ability to make scientific discoveries that will help our country prosper, and that means we will all suffer.”
Meanwhile, 35 Nobel laureates and Fields medalists, including the Royal Society president Venki Ramakrishnan, have written to UK Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker highlighting Brexit concerns.
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The researchers are seeking a Brexit deal on science and innovation, enabling ‘the closest possible cooperation between the UK and the EU, now and in the future’.
In the letter to May, the group said: “By deciding to leave the EU, the UK has given up its right to participate in EU research and innovation programmes. It must now step up its commitment to those programmes if it wants to remain involved.
“For the EU it is vital that it makes international cooperation a trademark of its research and innovation programmes.”
The letters further stressed the requirement for cross-border collaborations to facilitate rapid exchange of ideas, expertise and technology, as well as to avoid any hindrance to progression of science.
Earlier this month, Brexit concerns resulted in US-based clinical stage pharmaceutical company Recardio halting its clinical trial activities in the UK.