In DepthEUROPE

U.K. parties stake out science stances in ‘Brexit election’

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Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, pp. 1058
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6469.1058

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Summary

Campaigning is in full swing for a momentous U.K. election next month, and three large parties have starkly different policies on Brexit—the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union—which has large implications for science and is now set for 31 January 2020. The Conservatives pledge to get Brexit over with. The opposition Labour Party says it will negotiate a better deal with the European Union and then put it to the people in another referendum. The Liberal Democrats say they will cancel Brexit. The parties are in accord on other issues: They all want to boost research funding and ease immigration rules for scientists. Some of the parties have made specific, controversial proposals. The Conservatives would like to create a British Advanced Research Projects Agency, inspired by the U.S. military agency that helped develop the internet and other technologies, to work on high risk civilian research. Labour says it would create a publicly owned drug company to make generic drugs, including some still under patent, for the National Health Service.

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