viernes, 24 de junio de 2016

How Brexit will impact the science and technology industry

Policy, regulation, trade, and science funding will all be hit by the UK's decision to leave the EU

Credit Getty Images / Saeed Khan 
The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union.
Prime minister David Cameron has stated his intention to step-down from the role in three months, but said Article 50, which would legally invoke leaving Europe, would not be enacted immediately.

The responsibility for invoking the Article will fall with the new prime minister and it is expected that negotiations on the exact terms of the UK leaving will take two years. The vote has prompted stock market declines around the world and a drop in the value of Sterling as investors react to the position of the UK.

Many in the science and technology community predicted that a vote to leave would have a significant impact on the industries. This is how they have responded to the result.

Startups and technology industry
None of the UK's private companies valued at more than $1 billion supported leaving the EU, The Guardian report in May. The 14 unicorns, of which five explicitly said they would be supporting remain, were concerned that leaving the Union would affect trade and business.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the UK leaving the EU "could do severe regional and global damage" to trade relationships.

TechUK, a trade body representing more than 900 UK companies in the technology sector, has responded to the vote saying that it "opens up many uncertainties about the future". The group said it had starting to plan how it should respond to policy and regulatory changes that will be caused by leaving the EU.

"Tech companies will need to come together and speak with one voice to ensure their needs are understood and acted upon," TechUK said in a statement.

Whether the UK is able to stay in the single market will be a key point that will impact businesses. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he will push for the country to stay within the trading agreement as part of the forthcoming negotiations between EU and the UK.

Science funding
Academic researchers at UK universities benefit from European Union funded grants. Approximately 18.3 per cent of the UK's funding from the EU goes to scientific research and development, a House of Lords committee has said. A reduction on this funding would have a significant impact on UK universities.

Following the referendum result, Dame Julia Goodfellow, the president of Universities UK – a collection 133 universities – said the body would look to "secure opportunities" for students and researchers to be able to access "vital pan-European programmes".

"Our first priority will be to convince the UK government to takes steps to ensure that staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities," Goodfellow said in a statement.
Universities UK statement on the outcome of the EU referendum
24 June 2016
Source. Universities UK
Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK said:

'Leaving the EU will create significant challenges for universities. Although this is not an outcome that we wished or campaigned for, we respect the decision of the UK electorate. We should remember that leaving the EU will not happen overnight – there will be a gradual exit process with significant opportunities to seek assurances and influence future policy.

'Throughout the transition period our focus will be on securing support that allows our universities to continue to be global in their outlook, internationally networked and an attractive destination for talented people from across Europe. These features are central to ensuring that British universities continue to be the best in the world.

'Our first priority will be to convince the UK Government to take steps to ensure that staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities in the long term, and to promote the UK as a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds. They make a powerful contribution to university research and teaching and have a positive impact on the British economy and society. We will also prioritise securing opportunities for our researchers and students to access vital pan-European programmes and build new global networks.

Notes
Universities UK is the representative organisation for the UK's universities. Founded in 1918, its mission is to be the definitive voice for all universities in the UK, providing high quality leadership and support to its members to promote a successful and diverse higher education sector. With 133 members and offices in London, Cardiff (Universities Wales) and Edinburgh (Universities Scotland), it promotes the strength and success of UK universities nationally and internationally. Visit: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk

Policy and regulation
Many UK laws and regulations are derived from EU legislation. The UK's position in relation to these will be negotiated once Article 50 has been invoked.

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), a membership body of environmentalists and those working in the industry said "environment and climate policy risked being watered down" as a result of Brexit.

"It is therefore essential that the government gives a commitment that, in negotiating the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU, an equivalent or enhanced level of environmental protection and climate policy will be implemented here in the UK," the group said in a statement.

Data protection is another EU-prescribed area. A new European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was passed in April after more than four years of negotiation. The regulations, which will outline how citizen's data is processed, is set to be implemented across the EU in 2018.

ORIGINAL: Wired
Friday 24 June 2016 

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