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Be OK Post-Brexit

Sam Gyimah, the UK science minister, tells ScienceInsider that researchers in Britain will be OK post-Brexit.

Gyimah, who voted for the UK to remain in the European Union, became science and universities minister last January, and scientists in particular have been concerned about what leaving the EU may mean for funding, collaborations, and other opportunities. An analysis published last year by the National Audit Office noted that the UK was a net recipient of EU research funding, as it put €5.4 billion ($6.36 billion) into the pot and received €8.8 billion ($10.4 billion).

Gyimah tells ScienceInsider that his government is seeking to remain involved in EU research programs like Horizon 2020, much like the non-EU countries of Norway and Switzerland are. Under such a scheme, the UK would pay into the programs, he says, and, in return, wants them to focus on scientific excellence — rather than capacity-building in other countries — and have UK scientists involved in the decision-making process.

Gyimah also notes that mobility is important for science and that they are working on a visa program to make it easier for researchers to work in the UK.

"[W]e're going to do everything to make sure that post-Brexit, the UK is a go-to place for science and innovation," he adds.