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Bad News for Britain?

Since the UK voted to leave the European Union, things have been a little confusing for Britain's science community, The New York Times reports. Entrepreneurs who were counting on Britain's membership in the Union to make it easier to do business throughout the continent are now rethinking their plans to stay in the UK.

And those worries are spreading throughout the country's business community, and are having an effect on its economy, the Times says. Though nothing has yet changed, there are still a lot of questions looming about what kind of relationship the UK will have with the European Union.

And the scientific community seems to be feeling the uncertainty more than anyone else, "dependent as it is on long-term funding, cross-border mobility and international collaboration," according to the Times. And this could hurt Britain's leadership role in the health sciences and engineering.

"Though much of the debate before the referendum focused on Britain's financial payments to the European Union, the science sector has unquestionably benefited from membership, receiving net contributions of €3.4 billion, or about $3.7 billion, from a variety of European Union programs from 2007 to 2013," the Times says. "Those resources have plugged the gap in falling British government funding, adjusted for inflation, and low levels of investment from Britain's private sector."

And as far as talent is concerned, the UK has benefited greatly from scientists from various European countries. "Around 30,000 scientists and researchers from [European Union] member states are employed by British universities — equivalent to 20 percent of their teaching and research staff — and a full 60 percent of research papers in Britain are written with partners in the European Union," according to the Times.

Companies of all sizes are now wondering, how will the British government handle the gaps that are bound to crop up?