Brexit warning: Scientist lost millions by not leaving UK – but warns of EU brain drain | Politics | New


More than 100 grants from an EU research program were cut in July due to the ongoing row over the Northern Ireland protocol. UK beneficiaries of the £80bn Horizon Europe deal have been told their grants will not be available unless their research is transferred to an institution based in the Brussels bloc.

One of these scientists was José R Penadés, professor of microbiology at Imperial College London and director of the MRC Center for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection.

He has been offered €2.5m (£2.13m) from the European Research Council (ERC) for studies.

But, Prof Penadés said, “I have been informed that funding is at risk because the UK has failed to broker a deal to remain in the EU’s Horizon Europe funding scheme”.

He wrote in the Guardian today: “This has been a huge problem.

“I have started discussing with universities based in the EU the possibility of moving the research program, but eight to ten other scientists work under me in my own laboratory, and I am the current director of the MRC Center for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection in the UK.

“Scientists work in deeply connected networks of collaborators and institutions, and moving to France or Spain, even on a part-time basis, would be disruptive to more than just this research project.”

Having made the decision not to move to the EU, Professor Penadés lost his money.

READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: Truss put on alert as Rejoin plot ‘builds to pace’

“And this is after the UK lost £1.5billion on the science program from 2016-2020 due to Brexit…

“As the author says, the UK is becoming less attractive due to Brexit.”

Another academic previously told the newspaper he was “relieved” to be leaving the country due to uncertainty over funding.

He added that the UK appears to be heading down a “dark path”.

Foreign Minister Liz Truss reacted to Brussels’ decision on the Horizon Europe program by launching a dispute.

She described the move as a “clear breach” of the Brexit trade deal and accused the bloc of “seeking to politicize vital scientific cooperation”.

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