Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald had said Brexit must not be allowed to damage scientific research and that the concerns of the scientific community must be heard.
The party’s climate and economy spokesperson was speaking after representatives of university, research and science groups across Europe issued a statement calling for universities in Britain and the north to have ‘full association’ with European research projects after Brexit.
Caoimhe Archibald said:
“This is a challenging time for universities and the research sector with the implications of Brexit as yet not fully clear and there is huge concern for the scientific community in terms of research collaborations and funding.
“The education and research sector currently benefit from EU funding, not just research funding, but also the structural funds which have been an enabler for research and innovation and collaborations with other universities.
“Mobility of staff and students and potential immigration requirements and access to the Erasmus plus programme are issues of concern as is the potential for northern students to be treated as international students to attend universities in EU states including south of the border.
“Freedom of movement is essential to keep the brightest scientific talent travelling to Britain and the north to study and work.
“In order to protect the future of science and research in the north, it is essential that universities continue to access to EU funding streams.
“Sinn Féin will continue to highlight all these issues and keep the rights of citizens here centre stage in the next phase of the Brexit process.”