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Science and Medicine Exodus as a consequence of Brexit?

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On July 19, 2018

For a first blog, it was difficult not to mention Brexit. Partly because, I’m a Brit living in France and also because I interact with many scientists around the world, particularly in the EU, including working in projects funded by the European Union (EU).

Brexit is raising many questions, including, what impact will Brexit have on the scientific community, as well as the bigger message it’s sending out about diversity and working with others. I’m still getting over the shock of the vote but have to accept, the democratic process and despite a close vote, it is the ’52%’ majority, which makes“Brexit’ the final outcome. Despite perhaps the campaign being a muddled affair with possible false information and people potentially misinformed but it was also mixed up with immigration issues and some votes were making a point about a poorly managed immigration policy, for which the EU played a role. In hindsight, the campaign could have been a lot better but it is too late now and a 3rd referendum is unlikely and maybe not the answer; not until considerable time has passed, after all, it was the first referendum in 1973, which took Britain into the EEC in the first place.

 

The press reports that there is a lot of infighting, which doesn’t install much confidence and it gives the impression Britain is being managed by a bunch of incompetent buffoons, interested more in themselves than the country. It’s not the time to be messing about when Britain needs to put it’s best foot forward. Leaves me wondering where Britain is going: Never Never Land or La La Land?

Time will tell and until then we are living with much uncertainty, both Britain and the EU, which makes things feel a bit unstable and at a loss. Past experience tells us where there is change, there will always be winners and losers. On which side will each of us fall?

 

Britain is going to have to work hard to keep their place in an ever-changing world. They will need to be creative and innovative, which, in the past, has been one of Britains strengths, so let’s hope that continues, in an ever-changing world. I’m curious what the future holds for those in the scientific, medical, health and pharmaceutical world? There may be no answers today but what will happen to EU collaborative projects, such as those funded by IMI? Or other similar collaborations? The European Medicines Agency is already moving from London to Amsterdam. What will that mean for licensing pharmaceutical products in Britain? Will there be a loss of Scientists from Britain and will scientists from the EU find it difficult to work in Britain? What will job accessibility look like on both sides? Will visa’s be required and will Brits be behind the EU queue?

 

I requested French Citizenship in 2014 and the decision is due later year. If successful, I will have dual citizenship and continue to be an EU citizen. We can never predict the future and the EU has many challenges ahead; it’s not a perfect system but it brings together 27 European countries, giving a sense of diversity, collaboration and stability to Europe. I hope those in privileged positions manage to find a working solution and let’s hope those that are able to influence working collaborations across the scientific community, continue to work together.

Last modified: July 19, 2018

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