Life sciences leaders welcome Brexit position paper on future of UK science

Published: 8-Sep-2017

The ABPI and the BIA have welcomed the UK Government’s latest Brexit position paper on Collaboration on science and innovation

The UK Government’s position follows a prolonged effort from the life sciences industry to establish Government consensus on key Brexit issues.

To support UK science, the sector first outlined in September 2016 securing “alignment and commonality with the EU for the regulation of medicines”, “long-term, predictable funding for scientific research and continued ability to collaborate at scale” and “an agreement with the EU that facilitates the ease of movement for highly-skilled talent”, top level priorities for maintaining and growing the industry as Britain leaves the EU.

This position paper also follows a recent recommendation (3 July 2017) of the European Commission appointed High Level Group on Maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes, which stated “full and continued engagement with the UK within the post-2020 EU R&I programme remains an obvious win-win for the UK and the EU. The UK has one of the strongest science bases of all European countries.”

Mike Thompson, ABPI CEO and Steve Bates, BIA CEO said: "Continuing their pragmatic approach to secure the future of the UK’s life science sector, this latest position paper features many very positive ambitions for the future.

"As the Commission’s own research has recognised, citizens across the whole of Europe benefit from the way UK and European scientists and researchers collaborate; helping find new ways to tackle health challenges we all face.

Continued cooperation in research, a smooth transition for the regulation of medicines and practical solutions for trade and talent will be essential to delivering the best outcome for patients in both the UK and the EU.

"Talent drives the strength, depth and quality of UK science, so, securing the continued mobility of UK and EU scientists would be the next logical and crucial step. These scientists have an important role to play in the future health, well-being and economic prosperity of Europe.

"As the paper recognises, drug development is a global business and with timeframes getting tighter by the day, it is essential that progress is delivered through negotiations with the EU to give industry confidence that UK and Europe will continue to be one of the best places in the word for developing and delivering the very best breakthroughs in medicine."

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