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UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

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Lying tory bastard

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So what's your answer then? Keep having referendums until one gets the right result?

I guess if it's good enough for Scotland...

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ref2?

"Keep having referendums until one gets the right result?"

Well, duh, obviously! That's the proper democratic way. Ideally we should have a keep-the-nasty-foreigners-out referendum every six months, and negotiations stop and start depending on the latest result. That way the politicians can tell their lies, everyone can say that things were better when we had blue passports, but we'll never get round to actually changing anything, which is what this whole insane exercise is all about.

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The referendum was a non-binding, advisory vote. As we live in a representative democracy, MPs are fully entitled to reject leaving the EU if it would be massively damaging to the economy and people of this country (as it is looking more and more likely).

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MPs are fully entitled to reject leaving the EU if it would be massively damaging to the economy and people of this country

If they did, it would be massively damaging to the MPs, given that close on 70% of English regions voted to leave. MPs who vote to ignore that will discover what it's like to get a middle-english toe up their collective arses. UKIP would be laughing themselves silly all the way to Westminster. Not a good outcome.

Besides, changing our mind now would be the most catastrophic outcome of all. It would send a message to the EU that we weren't serious about our concerns, and could be relied upon to drop our pants and bend over when pushed. It would be the end of the rebates, the opt-outs, and any pretence of control over anything.

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As the UK will have to pay to get access to the EU market after "Brexit", the rebate will be gone. The UK will have to pay the full whack then. So no money saved at all, in fact it will incur a considerable extra cost.

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"Lying tory bastard"

I do not trust the other Johnson brother one bit because so far he's only shown any interest in hiking up tuition fees and not in defending British science in the way that Cable and Willetts did.

Spending on science in the UK is less than that France and Germany and the priorities ought to be increasing the amount spent on British science and securing Associated Country status with the EU for science purposes so that science cooperation can continue but that particular clueless Eton & Bullingdon toff just doesn't care.

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"If they did, it would be massively damaging to the MPs, given that close on 70% of English regions voted to leave. MPs who vote to ignore that will discover what it's like to get a middle-english toe up their collective arses. UKIP would be laughing themselves silly all the way to Westminster. Not a good outcome.

Besides, changing our mind now would be the most catastrophic outcome of all. It would send a message to the EU that we weren't serious about our concerns, and could be relied upon to drop our pants and bend over when pushed. It would be the end of the rebates, the opt-outs, and any pretence of control over anything."

I frankly don't care what the Leave voters think or want because their marginal win was based on a complete pack of lies, the most egregious of which was that all EU funds would now go to the NHS. Leave voters should not be allowed to inflict hundreds of billion of pounds of damage on the British economy.

I would fully support any MPs who stand up to the May government to secure European Economic Area and EU Customs Union status for the UK which is not the same as rejoining the EU (it's a much less destructive soft Brexit).

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As the UK will have to pay to get access to the EU market after "Brexit",

If you reread my post you'll see I was discussing what would happen if MP voted to renege on Brexit and we therefore stayed in. We would lose all opt-outs & rebates in that situation.

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Anonymous Coward

Spending on science in the UK is less than that France and Germany

But more than the other 25 countries, you're cherry-picking your data very carefully.

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I frankly don't care what the Leave voters think or want because their marginal win was based on a complete pack of lies, the most egregious of which was that all EU funds would now go to the NHS.

Are you really that arrogant, and that daft? You don't care what the majority voted for, so you're happy to see it ignored? You're name isn't Putin is it? Or Trump?

Leave got a substantially higher percentage of the vote (on any grounds) than any party has managed in a general election in at least 50 years.

As to the bollocks about immigration and the NHS, that's just FUD from remoaners to justify their inability to understand the economic and political reasons why the EU is an unworkable disaster. Sure, a few people probably voted for Brexit on immigration grounds, but I certainly don't believe it was the main reason.

That said, a softer exit with EEA status would indeed be beneficial, but it seems unlikely that the EU will permit it, since it risks bringing their worst nightmare to life: that a country can leave the EU and be better off outside it. They will do everything in their power, underhand or illegal, to try and prevent that.

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Boffin

Not sure if that is a big comitment

So they'll ringfence the UK science budget. But scientists may still loose a lot of EU funding. Will they add former contributions to the EU science budget to future the UK science budget? Or maybe they hope to continue participating in the EU science programs (like Switzerland), but that might cost some extra money in the future: "From 2007 to 2013, the UK contributed an estimated €5.4 billion to EU research and development, according to the UK Office of National Statistics. During that time period, it received €8.8 billion in direct EU funding for research, development, and innovation".

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Unhappy

Channel 4 news reported £5.5Bn --> EU got £8.8Bn <-- EU for Science

Over the same period.

So that's a fair bit of cash for HMG to find.

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Re: Channel 4 news reported £5.5Bn --> EU got £8.8Bn <-- EU for Science

Its actually a bit harder than 'just' the ~£3 Billion too, because all of that European funding was in big(gish) projects with lots of people collaborating across Europe.

Very different from the sort of stuff we can really hope to fund using just UK funds.

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Re: Channel 4 news reported £5.5Bn --> EU got £8.8Bn <-- EU for Science

Not at all, the government will fully fund UK science and allow them to build their own version of Eu projects - just with 1/28th money and people.

The Little Hadron Collider, with it's thatched roof and magnets collected from fridges by the nation's children will be assembled in Britain and will collide British Hadrons at a sensible speed.

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politicians lies

When a politician 'promises' or offers to 'work hard to' you know they're either lying or not in a position to make the offer. And aren't ring fences just fences with big enough holes to extract money through to most of them?

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Re: politicians lies

Err... no, that's not fair.

They're promising to work hard for something. They may or may not keep that promise. But they are also warning you, up front, that the result is not guaranteed, usually because they're not in a position to guarantee it.

If you read that as a promise to guarantee the outcome, then that's on you.

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Unhappy

Re: politicians lies

Actually, they are promising that "hard-working families" will have to do the work. Politicians will merely oversee the work - looking on with incredulity and a lack of understanding...

Jo Johnson, First in Modern History, in charge of UK science.

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Bah!

They don't need to "dip in" to any funds. There's 350 million quid a week that will accrue from just not being in the EC up for grabs.

It's like no-one even read the poster on that bus.

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Joke

Re: Bah!

Nahh that is earmarked for the NHS!

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Re: Bah!

I thought we were getting a fleet of buses - that's what I vote for !

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Re: Bah!

Boris owes about £6bn+. I think he might want to start looking down the back of the sofa.

http://www.whatdoesborisowe.co.uk/

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Re: Bah!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-vote-leave-wipes-nhs-350m-claim-and-rest-of-its-website-after-eu-referendum-a7105546.html

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Anonymous Coward

>Back in July, the minister announced he had set up a public inquiry to investigate cases of discrimination against UK scientists during the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

Hooray. Another public enquiry. More well-paid jobs for the boys paid for by the increasingly cash-strapped tax payer.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps they need to fund some grants to develop the new magical money tree from which they're going to be plucking all these billions of pounds they are suddenly pledging left-, right- and centre.

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This really isn't hard to understand. We contribute something like £18 billion to the EU, and it spends about £9 billion on stuff here. So there's plenty of money.

I'd suggest we stay in the EU science programs, if they want us. That should be an easy agreement, if negotiations don't go wrong. If not, then we repatriate a bunch of EU budget, and add it to the research budget. It's not like UK academia doesn't already do loads of joint research with non EU countries.

The immigration argument is even sillier. Our universities are funded by fee-paying foreign students, it would be insane to stop that flow, although there is a lot of abuse apparently with pretend institutions getting visas for pretend students, and I'm sure the Home Office will manage to stop some real students in cleaning up that mess.

It's a bit like the argument that because people are worried about low skill immigration well automatically choose not to allow any more doctors or nurses to move here. A pure scare-story.

There are serious issues to worry about with Brexit. This one should be dead easy.

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> we repatriate a bunch of EU budget

LOL! Repatriate to the nearest wall in the form of a warm yellowy liquid.

I've been in the Remain Hard camp for a long time because I do not think UK politicians and civil servants can be trusted with anything more than a box full of paperclips. Actually treasury tags are probably safer. Any actual money, budgeting or policy decisions on anything further ahead than the next election should not go anywhere near Westminster. Remove all sovereignty whatsoever from UK.gov.plc.ltd.uk immediately and give it to the Walloons.

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Anonymous Coward

"It's a bit like the argument that because people are worried about low skill immigration well automatically choose not to allow any more doctors or nurses to move here. A pure scare-story."

The truth is somewhat more subtle than that - visa's are a pain in the backside, and your stay is not guaranteed beyond the length of the visa, so if you've got a choice between going to somewhere which requires a visa, and a similar place which doesn't, you go to the place not requiring a visa (effectively, you're unwittingly voting to discourage them and decide it's too much hassle and go elsewhere).

Unfortunately, my limited experience of people on visas (1) indicates that the UK government is happy to deport people the kind of people you'd want to keep, for no real reason (co-worker who'd been here for ~10 years, employed throughout in a skilled job, visa not renewed and deported with ~2 weeks notice, due to having "not put down ties" [read: failed to get married or have kids]).

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You have no idea

"Our universities are funded by fee-paying foreign students, it would be insane to stop that flow"

And yet that is exactly what is happening. EU applications down 9% ...

www.theguardian.com/education/2016/oct/27/uk-university-applications-from-eu-down-9-ucas

The utter joke about Brexit is that it was about 'control'. We have actually lost control, not gained any. Epic, epic, fail! The government know this and are pissing about trying to avoid telling us.

We're going to get screwed by the EU, because they can and need to in order to stop it falling apart and there's bugger all we can do about it. Welcome back to the British 'glory years' of the 70s - 3-day week, no bin collections and hyper-inflation.

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@ batfastad

"I've been in the Remain Hard camp for a long time because I do not think UK politicians and civil servants can be trusted with anything more than a box full of paperclips."

You do know Blair was aiming for EU president. That guy who borked the economy by not understanding anything about running a country but looked like he should be in a boy band, lied every time he smiled (or breathed) and spaffed money on any problem in the hope it would go away. And in the EU there is even less we could do about getting rid of him and 'no more boom and bust' brown.

"Any actual money, budgeting or policy decisions on anything further ahead than the next election should not go anywhere near Westminster."

You sound like you want to join the Euro. There aint many still advocating such economic suicide. Has the Euro recovered from the recession 6 years ago yet? And as remainers like to point out, we are tied in trade to this economic basket case that is more threatening to the global economy than China crashing. Forget jumping out of the pan into the fire, that would be applying the ethanol and some seasoning.

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Foreign students

"Our universities are funded by fee-paying foreign students, it would be insane to stop that flow

Which is exactly what T May proposes to do. What does that say about her mental state and fitness to govern anything bigger than the sandpit at the local asylum?

Does anyone have two qualified doctors a straight-jacket to hand?

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Re: @ batfastad

You do know Blair was aiming for EU president.

Sounds about right for him: aiming for a position that doesn't exist…

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I'd suggest we stay in the EU science programs, if they want us. That should be an easy agreement, if negotiations don't go wrong.

See what happened to the Swiss when they voted to limit immigration from the EU. Result: frozen out of EU research programs.

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@ Charlie Clark

"Sounds about right for him: aiming for a position that doesn't exist…"

Interesting. Good job these are all elected by the people- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_European_Union

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I do not think UK politicians and civil servants can be trusted with anything more than a box full of paperclips.

Sadly the eurocrats intent on building their European empire are even less trustworthy than that, unless they're delaing with gold-plated paperclips in their retirement funds.

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Re: You have no idea

We're going to get screwed by the EU, because they can and need to in order to stop it falling apart and there's bugger all we can do about it.

It's going to fall apart anyway, the best we can do is get out now while we can, to avoid being sucked into the crash. Brexit may be painful for a few years, especially if the Remoaners make it unnecessarily hard just to prove that they were right, but it's nothing to the pain that Greece, Spain, Italy and France are gong to suffer a few years from now when the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

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Re: @ batfastad

Good job these are all elected by the people

What, just like the Prime Minister isn't?

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@ Charlie Clark

"What, just like the Prime Minister isn't?"

You might have missed it over there in Germany but the tory party was elected. In this country we elect parties. Just as Blair walking out passing the post to Brown instead of triggering an election. We dont do president/vice president here.

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Re: @ batfastad

In this country we elect parties.

We don't actually, we elect MPs. Until Tony Blair changed it, the party affiliation wasn't even on the ballot paper.

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Holmes

Re: @ batfastad

We dont do president/vice president here.

So, if you accept the principle of representative democracy for the UK, how come you don't think it applies for things like the European Commission?

Come to that, how come you think it doesn't apply for international treaties such as the membership of the European Union, the World Trade Organisation, the Commonwealth or NATO?

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@ Charlie Clark

"So, if you accept the principle of representative democracy for the UK, how come you don't think it applies for things like the European Commission?"

You may not have noticed the problem with that. Cameron has been slammed for his turn tail and run (breaking his various promises on cue) and people railed at Blair promising to stick around and then doing a runner leaving brown in the brown stuff. People are not happy with it so why would we be happy with it from over there? More importantly we have been promised over and over to be given a voice over our membership of the EU and the promise has been dropped after each election. Now we have had a vote and returned the 'wrong' answer the anti-democratic monsters want a rerun or just ignore the people. The problem we have is the same one recently identified in the EU, the representative democracy isnt representing the people. Something that nearly scuppered the Canada deal.

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Mission Impossible

"... ensure the UK science community gets a good deal from the negotiation process."

What crap. The UK has no negotiating cards to play here, as far as Article 50 goes. After we leave (if we do), we can start to negotiate a deal to rejoin EU projects by paying full costs. Does anybody seriously believe any promises to finance that made by the current hypocritical and lying government? Anybody who believes a word of this poppycock is going to be seriously disappointed a few years in the future. If we leave. But Parliament can stop that happening, by forcing a general election, if May doesn't stop it herself, now that she knows the whole idea is doomed.

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Re: Mission Impossible

@ Yes Me

"The UK has no negotiating cards to play here"

The UK is the only one holding any real cards. The EU is desperate to play hard ball and be difficult otherwise everyone else will leave. Currently we are holding their balls and they are trying not to cough. To make it worse some of their fanatics are shouting about punishing us and so on, and the worst they can offer is 'hard/clean brexit'. Thats not a threat, thats a good thing. We become free of the cartel tariffs and suddenly we are helping poorer countries through trade and getting reduced prices in the process. They are hitting crisis after crisis and no longer have the UK to hide behind and blame for not agreeing with every hair brained idea.

The EU insisted we would be a basket case island nobody would care about outside the EU. Before we have left we have a queue from around the globe because we are smart enough to exit a sinking ship.

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Re: Mission Impossible

The UK is the only one holding any real cards.

Just keep telling yourself that, dear…

As for the facts: Article 50 specifies that the other 27 members get together and decide what to offer the UK. Sounds a lot like holding all the cards to me, but you're obviously privy to other information.

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Re: Mission Impossible

@ Charlie Clark

"As for the facts: Article 50 specifies that the other 27 members get together and decide what to offer the UK. Sounds a lot like holding all the cards to me, but you're obviously privy to other information."

Right. So? They get together and try to reach a consensus. As Canada will attest that is an amusing prospect. So far the noise from the EU seems to be demands for a hard brexit, but as soon as they realised people wanted to trade with us and we wont tank they are now practically begging we change our minds. Unfortunately their hard line 'punish em' lot are so determined it is a clean brexit that it pretty much makes the decision for us. But is that a threat to the country? Not really.

Yes it would be nice if we could have access to the single market. But being outside the EU we can make deals they cant (back to that consensus problem they have) and even burn the regulations they imposed.

For them to hold the cards they need something of value. The nearest they have is the single market but they want to offset those benefits with the rest of the EU machine which doesnt necessarily result in something positive. So lets amicably part and carry on.

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Re: Mission Impossible

they are now practically begging we change our minds

Who's they? While I think most other European citizens would rather the UK wouldn't leave the EU, the politicians are in the business of winning elections. FWIW the chairman of the German CBI has already gone on record as saying that "it's a political issue".

But again, I suspect you've got access to additional sources. I should just forget the fact that I live and work in Germany. What the hell would I know?

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@ Charlie Clark

"Who's they?"

Go look up the many who have asked/offered for us to change our minds. Feel free to add those who claim brexit will destroy the EU (you dont have to add those who said for campaigning reasons during the referendum).

"FWIW the chairman of the German CBI has already gone on record as saying that "it's a political issue"."

Yes it is. It is politics as in the EU not wanting to be politically embarrassed by a member leaving and doing fine without them (especially with their crisis list). It is a political issue as the eurosceptics are quite numerous around the EU. But then what isnt a political issue, left to politicians everything would be.

"I should just forget the fact that I live and work in Germany."

What does that have to do with the price of fish?

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Re: Mission Impossible

" German CBI has already gone on record as saying that "it's a political issue"

More importantly the German car workers agreed. They want trade to continue but the want the basic principles of Europe maintained more. The brexiteers seem incapable of believing money can be a secondary issue, despite complaining about the EU morphing into a poltical union they can't understand why anyone inside would make a political decision and sideline raw greed.

So we're doomed to see them continue to claim a deal is possible right up to the point they're offered an all or nothing choice :(

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Unhappy

"ther 27 members get together and decide what to offer the UK. "

Actually IIRC they get together and select 2 countries to do the negotiating on behalf of the EU.

The UK does not get a vote on who they are.

Could both be quite sympathetic (to a point).

Could both have an axe or two to grind for various reasons.

Could be a mix.

IOW a total crap shoot. And that's just the selection process.

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