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UK Biosciences and Europe

Life science research, innovation and training in the UK, and the work of life scientists, happen in an increasingly international context. The interactions of the UK scientific community with European neighbours, and the European Union (EU), are complex and include matters of research funding, regulation, translation, mobility, collaborations and scientific advice.

This page provides links to a selection of resources with information relevant to the European and EU context for UK life sciences. Click on the links below to go directly to:

News & updates
Consultation responses
Reports and briefings
Government balance of competences reviews
Blogs


News and recent updates

Clock

Royal Society of Biology: bioscience priorities for Brexit

(29 March 2017)

RSB responds to Stephen Metcalfe's science priorities for Brexit statement

(21 March 2017)

Government convenes High Level Stakeholder Working Group on EU Exit

(28 February 2017)

RSB meets Minister to discuss environmental science and conservation after leaving EU (2 December 2016)

Brexit: joint statement following a meeting of RSB and VBIO (14 October 2016)

Elsevier launches Brexit Resource Centre (28 September 2016)

House of Lords Brexit round-up (16 September 2016)

Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research inquiry by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee. The Royal Society of Biology submitted evidence on (7 September 2016).

UK national academies publish joint statement on research and innovation after the EU Referendum (19 July 2016)

House of Commons Library briefing 'Brexit: what happens next?' (30 June 2016)

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan Parliamentary Links Day Speech (28 June 2016)

UK science must be protected in wake of EU Referendum (24 June 2016)
Today's Referendum outcome will result in the UK leaving the European Union. There will now be a period of uncertainty in many areas of UK policy, including bioscience research and practice, and its funding, until new decisions are made or existing arrangements confirmed.

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Consultation responses

Big-Ben

The Royal Society of Biology (RSB) has contributed to a number of recent government consultations and parliamentary inquiries exploring the impact of the EU on UK science, the regulation of the life sciences, and GM foods. The reports from these inquiries, alongside evidence provided by a number of other organisations, are available in the following sections.

Government consultations:

The Royal Society of Biology has responded to the call for evidence on controlling live exports for slaughter and to improve animal welfare during transport after the UK leaves the EU issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
22 May 2018

The Royal Society of Biology has submitted a response to the 'Health and Harmony' consultation on the future for food, farming and the environment in a green Brexit issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
8 May 2018

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the Migration Advisory Committee call for evidence on EEA- workers in the UK labour market.
27 October 2017

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy consultation on Building our Industrial Strategy.
13 April 2017

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy consultation on the UK Bioeconomy.
27 January 2017

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the consultation on the draft Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
7 February 2018

Parliamentary inquiries:

The Royal Society of Biology responded to House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee inquiry on plant and animal biosecurity in light of Brexit. (pending publication)
24 April 2018

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the Government’s 25-Year Plan for the Environment.
26 February 2018

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the Science and Technology Committee of the Commons Brexit Science and innovation Summit inquiry.
12 February 2018

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into Life Sciences and the Industrial Strategy.
23 October 2017

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the Education Select Committee inquiry on the impact of exiting the European Union on higher education.
30 November 2016

The Royal Society of Biology responded to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry into 'Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research'
7 September 2016

Relationship between EU membership and the effectiveness of UK science by the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee. The report was published on 20th April 2016 and the RSB submitted evidence to this inquiry.

EU Regulation of the life sciences by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The report was published on 11th June 2016 and the RSB submitted evidence to this inquiry.

GM foods and application of the precautionary principle in Europe by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The RSB submitted evidence to this inquiry and provided a witness for hearings.

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Reports and briefings

blue-book

Information on aspects of the UK membership to the EU relevant to the life sciences is available within a variety of publications.

This list will be updated as new material becomes available.

 

The EU referendum

 

The UK's EU referendum 2016 explained

UK Parliament

HM Treasury analysis: the long-term economic impact of EU membership and the alternatives

The RSB produced a briefing on the references to science in the report

UK science and the EU

 

UK research and the European Union: The role of the EU in funding UK research

The Royal Society

UK research and the European Union: International research collaboration and researcher mobility

The Royal Society

UK research and the European Union - The role of the EU regulation and policy in governing UK research

The Royal Society

What will the referendum mean for science and engineering?

Campaign for Science and Engineering and their report

Scientists say 'no' to UK exit from Europe in Nature poll

Nature

EU Environmental Legislation and UK implementation

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)

Report on the influence of EU policies on the environment

Institute for European Environmental Policy

The potential policy and environmental consequences for the UK of a departure from the European Union

Institute for European Environmental Policy

How the EU benefits UK environmental policy

Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

Scoping the impact of UK membership in the EU on UK health research

RAND

Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacology & the EU Referendum

British Pharmacological Society

Position statements on the EU referendum
Biochemical Society
British Toxicology Society
Marine Biological Association

 

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Government balance of competences reviews

Globe

In July 2012 a review of the balance of competences between the EU and the UK was launched by the UK Government, to audit what the EU does and how it affects the UK. A total of 32 reports were produced covering specific areas of EU competence.

A selection of those broadly relevant to the life sciences community:

The House of Lords EU Select Committee held an inquiry into the review in 2015.

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Blogs

ComputerThe RSB hosts a multi author blog covering a wide array of topics and issues including discovery science, professional practice and training, and policy. Articles reflect the understanding and views of the author and not necessarily of the RSB.

Two recent postings are relevant to the issues covered on this page:

Biosciences and Brexit - by Deborah Roebuck, PhD student at Imperial College London and BBSRC Science Policy Fellow at the Royal Society of Biology during 2015.

The "EU effect" on our environment - by Matt Turley, PhD student at the University of Brighton and NERC Science Policy Fellow at the Royal Society of Biology during 2016.

 

Updated 14 October 2016

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