TUC backs Prospect on protecting STEM in Brexit

TUC backs Prospect on protecting STEM in Brexit

The Trade Union Congress has today backed by a wide margin a motion from Prospect calling for the TUC to protect science and innovation in the Brexit process.

EU referendum

Sue Ferns Prospect deputy general secretary, moving the motion at Congress in Brighton, said:

“We have set three tests that the Government needs to pass if it is to make a success of science and Brexit.

“First, the UK needs extra investment in science, not sleight of hand to reallocate funding that has already been announced.

“Second, UK science needs the personal and organisational collaboration that programmes like Horizon 2020 bring. Relationships have already been disrupted as a result of Brexit uncertainty, with UK-based research frozen out of some new project bids and loss of lead partner status elsewhere.

“So, government must also guarantee the rights of EU nationals already working in the sector and make clear that the UK will not shut the door to future scientists who want to come to the UK.

“The latest proposals on future residency rights do nothing to resolve the continued damaging uncertainty experienced by EU national colleagues and their families. Furthermore they will denude the UK of much-needed skills and hurt the economy.

“Third government must do more to safeguard the scientific jewels in the UK’s crown.

“Unless it puts aside reservations about the European Court of Justice to make sure that the UK continues to be a full member of Euratom we will lose the world-leading Joint European Taurus (JET) facility.”

Congress also agreed to campaign against a hard Brexit and to keep full access to the single market.

Read our motion on the TUC website.

Francis O’Grady TUC general secretary said:

“Our test for a successful Brexit is whether working people are better off.

“Throughout Brexit, the government must protect jobs, and deliver stronger growth that reaches workers’ pockets through higher pay.”

Read Sue Ferns blog for Labourlist on science and Brexit.

The unions which make up the TUC, including Prospect, represent over five million British workers. Congress is the annual meeting of delegates from these unions. This year it is meeting in Brighton until Wednesday.

Find out more and watch Congress live on the TUC website.