Boris Johnson, British PM, has recently announced a new fast-track visa in the UK. The new fast-track visa aims to attract top scientists to the UK after Brexit.
In a statement issued by Mr Johnson, he said that he wants the UK to be a global science superpower. As the UK leaves the European Union, the country plans to increase support to science and research. The scientific community in the UK will thus get an opportunity to export the country’s innovation across the globe.
The scientific community is deeply concerned about immigration after Brexit. The major concern is that scientists from the EU will no longer have the right to live and work in the UK. They will need to apply for British Visas which involves a slow and expensive process. The processing time and cost involved can prove to be a major deterrent, as per The Scientist.
Even though Mr Johnson has announced the fast-track visa, details about the same are yet to be revealed. As per the PM’s office, negotiations are on with some of the UK’s leading research centres. The UK also plans to increase the number of research institutes and Universities which could provide an endorsement to visa applicants. The UK also plans to remove the annual cap on the Exceptional Talent Visa which will open the doors to top scientists.
In spite of the visa announcement, there is still concern among the scientific community. Scientists worry that after Brexit it will become difficult for scientists with the UK to collaborate with those in the EU. Brexit could also prove to be a hindrance to development funding and growth of research. To resolve the same, PM Johnson has announced that it will fund researchers who had applied for EU funding before Brexit.
To leave the EU smoothly, the UK is trying to put in place plans for visa and funding. Irrespective of whether the plans take shape or not, the UK will leave the EU on 31st October.
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