A wild hysteria seems to have gripped our colleagues in universities. How else to explain Paul Nurse, former president of the Royal Society, describing the vote to take back control of our country as “the biggest threat [to science] in living memory”? Or a Cambridge economics don attending a faculty meeting and using her naked body as a billboard to protest against Brexit?
The truth is that British research need not suffer once we leave the EU, because like Switzerland or Israel – which has more listed start-ups on the Nasdaq than the EU combined – we shall still have access to the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding competitions. Great Britain will also have the heft to obtain special associate status on our terms as Europe’s leading research nation and will also remain a member of all the key international intergovernmental research and technology co-operation organisations – from the European Space Agency to the G8 Research Council – which have nothing to do with the EU .
Brexit simply offers a far brighter future for research and education, and not just because we will regain sovereign control of government grant-making with our tax money. The vote also means that we shall escape deeply detrimental present and planned expansions of the EU’s power.
The EU Clinical Trials Directive is a grim case that had disastrous consequences for academic research. It destroyed innovative new approaches and treatments overnight and, according to one Cambridge professor of pharmacology, was the cause of thousands of unnecessary deaths.
Too little, too late, it is being rewritten. In one case it halted, overnight, major cell therapy immunology-based research – the £5 million plus cost of compliance was simply too expensive for the charity funding the study. In consequence, this therapy is starting to become mainstream 10 years later than necessary.
There are other examples where EU directives have directly damaged patient care. The Working Time Directive obstructs and reduces high-quality specialist training. The president of the Royal College of Surgeons, Clare Marx, confirms that abandoning it will improve patient safety. The college calculates that it costs trainee surgeons 3,000 hours of precious experience. Miss Marx rightly adds the potentially and actually fatal dangers to patients from lax EU medical language requirements and inadequate standards for clinical instruments. This is concrete evidence that the NHS will be safer out of the hands of the EU. In understated words, Miss Marx says that Brexit is “quite an opportunity”.
In the humanities, we escape the EU’s intensifying indoctrination of students in “EU studies” mandated under Article 126 of the Maastricht Treaty, which jemmied open the window into national control of education by giving the EU Executive Agency for Education a role in “policy co-ordination”. That dangerously bland term gives powers to “evaluate educational outcomes” – and hence shape curricula. So through Brexit we have escaped future programmes to brainwash our children.
Likewise, British universities will no longer be obliged to acquire an “Erasmus Charter for Higher Education” – under which inspectors will make “quality assessment” of “co-operation” as a condition of receiving funding. Safely named a “partner country” Britain’s higher education institutions will not be required to have this ideological imprimatur.
Finally we can ditch the most flexible propaganda instrument in the humanities, which is the award of “Jean Monnet Chairs” – posts for university professors, as they are described, “to deepen teaching in EU Studies ... mentor the young generation of researchers in EU Studies ... and organise activities … targeting to policymakers local, regional, national.”
Source: The Telegraph
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