President’s letter to Secretary of State for Wales

The Society’s President, Sir Emyr Jones Parry has today written to the Secretary of State for Wales, urging that the UK government work to maintain UK researchers’ access to EU Research programmes, and that the level of financial support for UK research is at least maintained at the current level.

Dear Secretary of State,

The House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology earlier this year underlined the important role of European Union funding for research in the United Kingdom.

During the referendum debates, the Leave campaign argued that outside the EU the UK’s current gross contribution to the EU could be controlled by the British Government to the better advantage of its citizens. Research is vital to the success of the UK economy. We therefore urge the British Government in the forthcoming negotiations in the EU to ensure that British researchers maintain their access to EU research programmes and that the  level of financial support to UK research is at least maintained at its current level.

British science has an enviable global reputation and has always fostered international collaboration. The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences have similarly contributed, and notably to the development of the European concept. Membership of the EU has also encouraged greater cooperation with European partners and movement of academic staff and students. The Learned Society believes that it is a key British interest that these exchanges should continue. The risk is that teaching and learning will also lose out unless cooperation continues and financing is at least maintained.

I am copying this letter to the Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales and will be releasing its contents to the media.