EDITORIAL

For science, Brexit isn't done yet

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Science  07 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6478, pp. 605
DOI: 10.1126/science.abb0976

Summary

If there's one sentiment that papers over the cracks in a once-United Kingdom, it's bone-weariness over Brexit. Wherever one entered the debate back in 2016—on the side of the United Kingdom leaving or remaining in the European Union (EU)—most people simply want an end to the saga, which has spewed uncertainty and paralyzed decision-making for almost 4 years. A pre-Christmas campaign pledge to “get Brexit done” propelled Prime Minister Boris Johnson back into Downing Street with a Conservative dominance of the political landscape unseen since Margaret Thatcher's heyday. One week after its reelection, the government passed the Brexit withdrawal bill, and at midnight on 31 January, the United Kingdom departed. With the democratic die now cast, universities, scientific organizations, and individual researchers must figure out how to constructively engage with Europe. Is there a soft landing for science on the other side of the leap into the dark that has just been taken?

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