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Science Minister and Government Chief Scientific Adviser give evidence to Lords Committee investigating the influence of EU membership on UK science


Next Tuesday, 8 March, a Lords Committee will hear from Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science, and Professor Sir Mark Walport, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, for its inquiry into the impact on UK science and research of EU Membership.

The Director General for Business and Science within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Gareth Davies, will also give evidence to the Lords Science and Technology Committee.

In the final evidence session of the inquiry, the Committee will cover areas such as the total level of R&D funding from the EU to the UK, whether the Government is planning to replace ‘lost' EU funding for science should the UK leave the EU, how the UK compares to other countries when competing for research funding, and the importance of freedom of movement.

The three witnesses on Tuesday, at 10.40am, are Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Professor Sir Mark Walport FMedSci FRS, Government Chief Scientific Adviser; and Gareth Davies, Director General for Business and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Examples of questions which may be asked include:

  • What is your understanding of the total level of R&D funding from the EU to the UK, including any R&D components of structural funds as well as Framework Programme funds? 
  •  How well does the UK perform comparatively in terms of R&D funding secured?
  • In the event of a ‘Brexit' how likely is it that the Treasury would increase funding for UK R&D to compensate for the loss of EU funding?
  • Is the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills preparing a contingency plan for the science community in the event of a Brexit?  
  • If not, why not?
  • Is UK policy made less effective by compliance with EU directives that rely on the EU model of scientific advice? 
  • How important is freedom of movement across the EU for UK science, research and innovation?

The evidence session will start at 10.40am on Tuesday 8 March in Committee Room 4a of the House of Lords.

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