A total of 38,370 people has called on the UK government to protect access to European Union research and development programmes in the run up to Britain leaving the bloc.
The petition says that UK access to the programmes “stimulates billions of pounds of investment” and gives us here access to skills and technologies.
“Ending our access to these programmes will weaken our economy which depends on exploitation of innovative science and technology,” the petitioners say.
The government under its own rules has to respond to petitions if over 10,000 people sign.
But as far as Brexit goes, the government hasn’t really made a response except in the blandest of terms.
“The Government continues to value scientists, researchers and students, including those from outside the UK who come to learn and work in our country and recognises the benefits that the rich diversity of our research and scientific communities brings to our society and our economy. The UK continues to be one of the best places in the world to do science and the Government will work to ensure that our excellent education and research remains a magnet for brilliant minds.”
That, according to one of the lead petitioners TechEye spoke to this week, is nothing short of scandalous.
The petition says that while the UK might be able to replace the lost EU funding, it wouldn’t be able to restore research collaboration and indeed they’d have no financial incentive to do so.
You can find the petition here.