According to Francis Crick Institute in London Head Sir Paul Nurse, the UK’s scientific community will be left behind once it leaves the European Union.
Leading scientists have warned that a “Brexit” could mean scientific collaboration with European countries have new rules. Britain’s ability to find and use the best scientific minds in UK research institutes will also be compromised.
Sir Paul added “There is no question that science in the UK will be stronger in Europe than out of Europe and what is good for science in the UK is good for everyone in the UK.
“As part of the EU we have influence in that powerhouse of science – it’s frankly a no brainer [to stay in the EU]….We lose influence. We don’t set the agenda,” Sir Paul said.
“It’s like saying everything will be alright on the night – I just don’t think we should take those risks. We will be left somewhat lonely in a wet part of Europe….we’ll be shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said.
EU Research Funding had kept most of British science endeavours alive as it accounts for 16 per cent of the output. Sir Robert Lechler of the Academy of Medical Sciences said five of UK’s 10 top research centres are the recipients of EU funding.
Sir Robert added that Europe has been a “catalyst for collaboration.”
Sir Paul said that young, foreign-born researchers will have a negative outlook towards the UK because of its “walking away from Europe.”
“It will be a very negative statement if we leave….Of course we can continue to collaborate with others around the world but it will be more bureaucratic and more difficult when barriers are put up…It will make it more complicated and it wouldn’t work so well,” Sir Paul said.