Will Britain leave the EU?
The potential for the UK to leave the EU has been a topic of extensive media coverage in the UK and Europe. With UK politicians torn between looking tough for their more conservative audience with the occasional speech on leaving the 28 Member State Union while desperately trying to avoid making that happen, the debate makes for good comedy but not much worry.
Few in the halls of the EU institutions actually believe that Britain leaving the EU is a possibility but the case for staying still needs to be made. Who then to look to to make the case? Large companies are treated with distrust, EU federalists even more so and their own politicians are deemed “part of that system”.
The science lobby to the rescue it seems. Horizon 2020 represents the single biggest pot of funding for science in the world and the UK gets 16% of this in R&D budget. UK researchers are more than aware of this and have been active in new articles and journals about the benefits of EU funding and the risks to R&D that a brexit presents .
Scientistsforeu.uk became active the day after the referendum and immediately became a powerful media force very likely because it is difficult to find objections to a sector that is not normally associated with having either a profit motive or a political one.
To have those known to deal in facts and mostly disassociated with politics come out in favour of EU membership will present a convincing case to many voters who are fatigued by party politics or politics in general.
More information about ScienceforEU can be found here.