The leaders –
including the heads of the CBI, the Royal Society and the British Medical Association – signed a letter published in the Financial Times, saying that the UK must have policies that support international collaboration and a visa and immigration system that enables organisations 'to draw from a global talent pool'.
Sir, In the Autumn Statement, the government made clear that it recognises the fundamental value of science, research and innovation for the UK’s economic growth, productivity and global standing. However, if the UK is to compete on an international scale and become the go-to place for scientists, innovators and tech investors, it is imperative that the government also recognises and supports the crucial role of international collaboration and access to highly skilled, overseas talent.
To build on our position as a world leader in science and innovation, investment in research and development and the continued development of local skills and capability must be a priority. This must go hand in hand, however, with policies that support international collaboration. This requires a reformed visa and immigration system that enables all industries, the health service, universities and charities to draw from a global talent pool. International researchers must be able to choose the UK without facing unnecessary barriers or bureaucracy, and the UK must provide access to competitive funding and internationally collaborative networks.
Whatever our future relationship with the EU, these key ingredients for success must not be compromised. We must continue to be open to people, skills and ideas from across Europe and the world.
Dame Julia Goodfellow
President, Universities UK
Director General, Institute of Directors
Director General, Confederation of British Industry
Chair of Skills and Apprenticeships, Federation of Small Businesses
Dr Adam Marshall
Director General, British Chambers of Commerce
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan
President, The Royal Society
Dr Mark Porter
Council Chair, British Medical Association
CEO, Creative Industries Federation
Sir Martin Sorrell
CEO, London First
Founder, Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates
Lord Karan Bilimoria
Chairman, UK India Business Council; Founder and Chairman, Cobra Beer
Chair, Neptune Oil & Gas; Chair, National Centre for Universities and Business
Professor Sir Keith Burnett
President, Science Council
Professor Sir John Holman
President, Royal Society of Chemistry
Dr Sarah Main
Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering
CEO, Association of Medical Research Charities
CEO & General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing