In DepthEUROPE

Brexit's looming effects vex U.K. researchers

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Science  01 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6430, pp. 916
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6430.916

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Summary

Researchers and institutions in the United Kingdom are preparing for Brexit, the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, which is scheduled to take place on 29 March. It is still unknown whether the divorce will take place with an orderly transition or be chaotic. For U.K. scientists, a chaotic "no-deal" Brexit could limit access to supplies, European staff, and funding. U.K. scientists have been trying to reassure job candidates that the U.K. government has promised to replace lost EU funding in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Some are also stockpiling research supplies in case trade is disrupted. U.K. universities have been trying to preserve ties with universities in Europe by signing agreements that facilitate student exchanges and joint research projects. The politics of Brexit, including whether the departure date will be postponed, remain difficult to predict.