Scientists need to wake up to the opportunities of Brexit
The rigid stance taken by Home Secretary Amber Rudd towards the inclusion of international students and researchers in immigration targets has frustrated many in the scientific community.
heresa May made sweeping changes when she was catapulted into Downing Street. New departments were created, and the government had acquired a fresh mission – navigating our way out of the EU. Science and research could easily have been squeezed out of a picture dominated by migration, trade and market access.
In fact, the reverse is happening: the PM wrote in July that she wants “a positive outcome for science as we exit the EU”; and Philip Hammond followed this up in his autumn statement with a £4.7 billion increase in science and innovation investment. Industrial strategy is back in favour; the prospects for science have been debated in recent weeks in both the Lords and the Commons; and ministers have been queuing up to emphasise its importance to the future of the UK.