Twenty-nine Nobel Prize winners have warned Theresa May a hard Brexit could “cripple science”.
The world-leading scientists banded together in a letter to the Prime Minister, as well as European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, to say a hard Brexit “could seriously damage research”.
The letter, also signed by six Fields Medal mathematicians, said “creating new barriers” would “inhibit progress to the detriment of us all”.
t came after Ms May announced in the Commons that extending the Brexit transition beyond 2020 would be a last resort, and that the deal is “95 per cent” complete.
“The overwhelming negativity of scientists towards a hard Brexit should be a wake-up call.
“A hard Brexit could cripple science and the UK government needs to sit up and listen.
“We need a deal that replaces the science funding lost because of Brexit, that preserves freedom of movement for talented scientists, and that makes them feel welcome in this country.”
A government spokesman said: “The UK plays a vital role in making Europe a pioneering base for research and values the contribution that international researchers make to the UK.
“This will not change when we leave the EU. We will seek an ambitious relationship on science and innovation with our EU partners, exploring future UK participation in mutually beneficial research programmes, and will continue to support science, research and innovation through our modern industrial strategy.
“We have a proud record of welcoming the world’s brightest scientists and researchers to work and study here, and after we leave the EU we will have an immigration system to support this.”