How does EU membership influence UK science? Lords Committee hears from referendum science campaign groups

26 February 2016


Next Tuesday, 1 March, the Lords Science and Technology Committee will take evidence from campaign groups on the impact of EU membership on UK science.

Representatives from Scientists for EU and Scientists for Britain will give evidence to the Committee, and will likely be asked about the comparative performance of UK science in securing EU funds for science and research, the implications of Associated Country status, and UK collaboration with EU and non-EU countries.

Also giving evidence to the Committee will be an informed commentator on the debate, and a Vice Rector from a research-intensive Swiss University.

These are the penultimate sessions of an inquiry into the relationship between EU membership and the effectiveness of UK science, research and innovation.

At 10.40am the Committee will take evidence from Dr Mike Galsworthy, Scientists for EU; Professor Angus Dalgleish, Scientists for Britain; and Mr Emran Mian, Director, Social Market Foundation.

Questions likely to be asked in this session include:

  • How strong is the UK compared to other EU Member States when competing for research funding?
  • Has an optimal balance been struck between EU science funding awarded for excellence and that awarded for capacity building?
  • If the UK were to adopt Associated Country status, would that mean losing influence over EU decisions?
  • In the event of a ‘Brexit’, is the UK Government likely to invest more in R&D to offset the loss of EU funding?
  • How does the UK’s EU membership influence our collaboration with non-EU nations? 
  • Is there any value in regulatory harmonisation?

At 11.40am the Committee will then hear from Professor Philippe Moreillon, Vice Rector, Research and International Relations, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Questions likely to be put to the witness include:

  • What are the main advantages and disadvantages conferred on the Swiss science community as a result of Associated Country status with the EU?
  • Is it true that Switzerland does not have a say in decision-making in Brussels?
  • How do collaborations between Swiss scientists and EU scientists compare to collaborations between Swiss scientists and non-EU scientists?

The evidence sessions will start at 10.40am on Tuesday 1 March in Committee Room 4a of the House of Lords.

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