The President of the British Academy, Professor Sir David Cannadine, has backed today's warning from the President of the Royal Society regarding the risks of a no deal Brexit to the UK's research & development sector.
In a letter to the Conservative leadership candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, Professor Sir Venki Ramakrishnan highlighted the benefits of the UK's current relationship with the EU for British research and development, and warned that those benefits will be lost in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
In support of Sir Venki's comments, Professor Sir David Cannadine, President of the British Academy, said:
“I applaud Sir Venki Ramakrishnan for highlighting our shared concerns about the challenges that the academic and research community would face in a no-deal Brexit scenario. The UK has benefited hugely from participation in EU framework programmes – something which would be extremely difficult to continue if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal.
“Membership of the EU and access to EU Framework Programmes like Horizon 2020 has been enormously advantageous to the UK’s research and development sector. We have consistently outperformed other countries in EU research funding competitions, having received around £5bn since 2014 – 14.5% of the overall funding available in the current programme. This is most pronounced in the humanities and social sciences where, for example, this year UK-based academics have won 43% of the European Research Council’s Advanced Grants, worth up to €2.5 million across five years.
“But it is about more than just the money; these programmes allow access to expertise, facilitate networking, collaboration and the building of international research teams. Put simply, they are essential to the health of the UK’s world-leading research, and to the professional development of thousands of academics.
“If the UK wants to continue to participate in and shape future EU Framework Programmes, the next Conservative leader must prepare the grounds for an association agreement post-Brexit and embrace the opportunities that will provide. We urge the next Conservative leader to consider this as we approach the Brexit deadline on 31 October.”