Friday, 09 August 2019 04:28


The SNP has slammed Boris Johnson’s new visa plans for scientists after Brexit as naïve and say the plan is just a shallow façade that will do nothing to address Brexit damage or improve the current toxic immigration system.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson announced that he has instructed government departments to devise a new fast-track visa system to attract leading scientists to work in the UK, which includes scrapping the 2,000 a year cap on tier one visas for highly skilled migrants.
The SNP’s Carol Mongahan MP, a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, has said the plan is little more than gesture politics. Boris Johnson’s ‘do or die’ Brexit plan will serve a huge blow to the UK’s science sector begging the question – will there be an adequate science sector in the UK to attract top scientists after Brexit?
Ms Monaghan added that the Tories should be focussing on fixing the current toxic immigration system - including retaining freedom of movement - instead of drawing up naïve plans.
Boris Johnson’s proposal has also been criticised by prominent British scientists including Nobel laureate, Sir Andre Geim, who has said that “the government may try and reduce the barriers to entry for scientists but they cannot reduce turmoil that would be caused to science in the UK by a no-deal Brexit.”
Commenting, Carol Monaghan MP, said:
“Boris Johnson’s plan is nothing but a shallow façade, and quite frankly, naïve – changing the visa system to attract top scientists to the UK is pointless if there is no adequate science sector in the UK after Brexit.
“The warnings raised by some of the UK’s leading names in science and research should serve as an urgent wake-up call for Boris Johnson – Scotland and the UK’s world-leading science sector is at very real risk due to his ‘do or die’ Brexit plans.

"International collaboration, EU funding and freedom of movement have been central to the continued success of the UK’s science industry. That simply cannot be put at risk by a Prime Minister that is more intent on pandering to the interests of the minority Brexiteers in his party, rather than the country.
“Instead of gesture politics, the Tories should be assessing their shameful record on immigration and looking at overhauling the entire toxic visa system and retaining freedom of movement.

“It is imperative that Boris Johnson changes course to work constructively with our EU partners to secure a future relationship that safeguards our economy and our key sectors. Anything short of that will have a detrimental impact on the sector, relegate the UK's standing in science and cause unmitigated damage to Scotland.”

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