In DepthEuropean Union

Debate sharpens over U.K. threat to leave Europe

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Science  22 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6271, pp. 324-325
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6271.324

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There is growing alarm among the scientific community about the prospect of the United Kingdom exiting the European Union. Many universities fear they could lose the hundreds of millions of pounds that their researchers win in grant competitions run by the European Union, such as Horizon 2020. Another concern is the potential loss of influence in shaping the directions of these research programs. But campaigns for a U.K. exit argue that the United Kingdom as a whole would save money if it didn't have to contribute financially to the European Union, and researchers would be spared E.U. bureaucracy and regulations. The prime minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, has promised a referendum, which may occur before the summer.