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Science and innovation a focus point in Brexit speech

17 January 2017

In her speech today, PM Theresa May outlined 12 objectives that the UK Government will need in order to negotiate a smooth and orderly Brexit.

Theresa May (Shutterstock image)

Theresa May’s 12 objectives and ambitions will aid in creating a positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the EU. 

In brief, the 12 objectives are as follows:

1. Certainty
2. Control of our own laws
3. Strengthen the Union
4. Maintain the Common Travel Area with Ireland
5. Control of immigration
6. Rights for EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU
7. Protect workers’ rights
8. Free trade with European markets
9. New trade agreements with other countries
10. The best place for science and innovation
11. Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism
12. A smooth, orderly Brexit

Theresa May states that “I want this United Kingdom to emerge from this period of change stronger, fairer, more united and more outward-looking than ever before. I want us to be a secure, prosperous, tolerant country – a magnet for international talent and a home to the pioneers and innovators who will shape the world ahead. I want us to be a truly Global Britain – the best friend and neighbour to our European partners, but a country that reaches beyond the borders of Europe too. A country that goes out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.”

It’s reassuring to see that science and innovation made it into the top twelve. The UK has a great history in manufacturing and cutting-edge research & development and it is important we maintain current relationships and open ourselves up to new partnerships for the future growth of the nation. 

On this topic, May commented that “a Global Britain must also be a country that looks to the future. That means being one of the best places in the world for science and innovation. 

“One of our great strengths as a nation is the breadth and depth of our academic and scientific communities, backed up by some of the world’s best universities. And we have a proud history of leading and supporting cutting-edge research and innovation.

“So we will also welcome agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives.

“From space exploration to clean energy to medical technologies, Britain will remain at the forefront of collective endeavours to better understand, and make better, the world in which we live.”

May concludes; “we do not approach these negotiations expecting failure, but anticipating success. Because we are a great, global nation with so much to offer Europe and so much to offer the world.

“And let us do it not for ourselves, but for those who follow. For the country’s children and grandchildren too. So that when future generations look back at this time, they will judge us not only by the decision that we made, but by what we made of that decision. They will see that we shaped them a brighter future. They will know that we built them a better Britain.”

Commenting on Theresa May’s speech, Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “The Government must now work tirelessly to deliver a comprehensive new trade and customs agreement with the EU. As part of that process ministers must listen to businesses and support them in building viable bridges to carry the economy through a carefully managed and orderly transition.

“In order for the Government to lay the foundations of a globally competitive Britain, it must bring forward a clear and far-reaching industrial strategy that will enable businesses to seize the many expected opportunities the Prime Minister believes will arise after we leave the EU.

"In the end it’s the detail of the final agreement that will matter and it is important that this will be open to parliamentary scrutiny. Parliament and business will want to see a very clear, evidence-based plan to ensure the UK economy avoids collateral damage arising from our departure.”

To read the full speech, visit the website. 

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