In DepthEUROPE

Brexit backer Boris Johnson stokes fears for U.K. scientists

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Science  02 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6452, pp. 418
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6452.418

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Summary

The twisted tale of the United Kingdom's planned withdrawal from the European Union has taken a perilous turn. Boris Johnson, a charismatic and incautious politician with scant public views on science, became U.K. prime minister last week. He immediately packed his Cabinet with ministers pledging to exit the European Union by a 31 October deadline, even without a deal in place for an amicable divorce—the "no-deal Brexit" that economists predict would cause a recession and scientists say would cause additional hardships for research. Although no-deal now seems more likely than before, Johnson has touted the benefits of science and may be open to post-Brexit immigration reforms that U.K. scientists want. Johnson has said he will ramp up government preparations for a no-deal Brexit. A big question is whether the U.K. government can replace EU research funding opportunities.

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