14 December 2017
CaSE Deputy Director Naomi Weir on her experience as a panellist at this years' BSI Congress in Brighton.
Last week I had the privilege of speaking on a panel on Brexit at the British Society for Immunology Congress in Brighton. It may have been a measure of the level of interest in the subject, or it could have been that it looked like a scene from the Perfect Storm outside, but the combination meant that the lunchtime session was very well attended. After brief introductory comments by my fellow panellist, local MP Peter Kyle, and me, we spent the majority of the time on questions from the audience.
On uncertainty, we weren’t able to provide any assurances as the difficulty with Brexit is that uncertainty will be an enduring feature of the process. Since the Congress, the major announcement of the joint statement from the EU team and the UK has provided some welcome news. It sets out where they’ve got to so far, including some progress on EU citizens’ rights and UK participation in programmes up to the end of the budget period (which we understand includes the full remainder of Horizon 2020). However, it seems that as nothing is finalised until everything is agreed so it seems uncertainty will continue to linger.
We look forward to continuing to work with our members, including the BSI, and others across the sector – and beyond – to ensure there is a thriving environment for science and engineering in the UK in the years ahead.
Photo credits © British Society for Immunology/Simon Callaghan