EU Referendum: Tell us what you think…

Posted: 20 June 2016 | Caroline Richards, Editor, Drug Target Review | 74 comments

As Britons go to polling stations to vote in the EU Referendum, we can’t help but wonder how you feel…

As Britons go to polling stations to vote in the EU Referendum, we bring you some opinion pieces from industry experts.

Leaving EU could be a setback for Life Sciences in the UK

UK life sciences are stronger in the EU, says BioIndustry Association


Do you agree with what they say?

Comment below and let us know. 

Related topics

74 responses to “EU Referendum: Tell us what you think…”

  1. Life scientisits from UK should be seen as non-EU members (event if some agreements are set-up like for Switzerland and Norway) and we’ll not think about them first in EU consortia

  2. I fully agree, although as a Swiss we have found ways and means to stay outside, but it comes with pain and difficulties and constant negotiation. For science, this would be a catastrophy to cut the narrow links with all the EU projects. You probably know this analysis, including a chapter on Switzerland:

    cheers, Klaus, and lets hope the populist slogans are damped with the murder of Cox, it seems to be…

  3. Robert Lipsky says:

    A Brexit would have grave consequences for the sciences. Academic and private research institutes benefit from a strong EU.

  4. Gisli Heimir Sigurdsson says:

    Yes I agree that Britain should stay in the EU and help modernising it.

  5. Jeremy says:

    EU bureaucrats are no more duplicitous venal and self serving than home grown politicians just less overt and slightly more dispassionate so are probably a better bet. The bigger the pond the fewer the Sharks per cubic hectare, so stay!

  6. I really hope that UK will remain. As an Academic researcher, I envisage much more difficulty for our relationship with Britain concerning pre- and post-graduate exchange, EU projects, in many fields including health, medicine and pharmacy.
    I know that my Colleagues in UK agree. Please VOTE REMAIN!

  7. Anatoly Belostotskii says:

    Won’t you invite researchers (even excellent ones) from UK because their country has quit (suppose it has) EU? In my opinion, if following this logic of panishing individual researchers for ‘sins’ of the country where they work, one should escape collaboration with US scientists if Mr. Trump will be elected there.

  8. Mark Agius says:

    Yes absolutely. Leaving the EU will be a huge setback to lifesciences in the UK, and life sciences will be stronger if UK stays in the EU.

  9. Piotr Molęda says:

    In my opinion GB should stay with UE.

  10. Yes, I agree and hope UK will not exit EU

  11. M. Raafat El-Gewely says:

    I am US citizen not British, but it is clear to me that at least in science and technology, UK has benefited a lot from being in the EU, just see how many young scholars went to the UK institutions for further training and postdoctoral assignments. How many EU sponsored grants went to the UK. How many UK scientists are the PI for EU projects. If they leave the EU their scientific impact will be affected for years to come.

  12. Alberto Roghi says:

    Leaving EU could be a disaster for UK first, starting a dangerous “domino” effect with political and financial unpredictable events but referendum itself is a direct consequence of EU inconsistence. Light UK’s partnership in the last 20 years has contributed to the present EU crisis. Currency, foreign policy, army, fiscal policy, trading are hystorical unresolved issues even if UK will remain.

  13. Piotr Kusnierczyk says:

    I fully agree that Brexit will be harmful for science in Europe, as well as for economics, politics and culture. Although I agree that EU beaurocracy may be very tiring, nevertheless benefits prevail.

  14. Ricardo Louro says:

    Dear all,
    I disagree with both pro and con opinions expressed here.
    In the long therm it will be irrelevant. If the UK leaves it will adapt to the new situation even if that means the splitting of Scotland, and the EU will adapt even if it means that it becomes more ‘euro’ and less ‘atlantic’. Research and innovation (particularly in pharmaceuticals) will not disappear, it will simply be done differently.
    Ever since Darwin we know that it is not the strongest nor the fastest nor the biggest that survives, it is the most versatile. therefore, don’t fret too much about scenarios and embrace change because it will come whatever the result of the referendum.
    The most important opinion that I could present here is: For those that can vote, which unfortunately excludes the expatriates, choose in conscience and knowledge, but do chose. It is your right so do not abdicate from it.

  15. Dr Paul Spradbery says:

    The European Union is a corrupt, anti-democratic, profligate, over-bureaucratic, bankrupt gravy train with a severe migrant (not refugee) crisis which it has proactively engineered. In my view, only the naive, stupid, narrow-minded or incurably selfish would wish to condemn the United Kingdom to remaining within the nefarious clutches of this doomed, self-serving monstrosity.

    Other issues are irrelevant.

  16. Luigi M. Gallo says:

    I agree.

  17. Mentally, Britain never arrived in Europe,,,it´s always UK and Europe. I personally regret this, as I would favour Britain to be part of a united Europe being equally strong in economy as well as a political player in the world concert. It is up to Britons to decide, where to go. In german language there is a saying (literally translated as) “Don´t stop a walker”. If the UK decides to walk out of EU membership it is their choice and needs respect. On the other side, there is no chance to keep the same contact in any field of cooperation/collaboration as among EU member states. It will be treated like any other developed non-member state, e.g. like Norway. No influence in decision making, but the necessity to comply WITHOUT any exemptions. Otherwise no collaboration. A chance to rejoin opens up as window of opportunity probably after Turkey, if ever.

    I hope, people vote according to THEIR attitude towards a joint strong and united EU with equal rights and duties for all members. If the many exemptions Britain has already negotiated yet (which I consider a strong unfairness already) is still not enough, it is by far better to leave the EU, so the rest can go on with further and more intense cooperation.

    Good luck from Vienna (Austria)

  18. Suleyman says:

    UK should stay in EU. Novadays, many countries are joining to be stronge. Small pieces of countries are very fragile for occupaying. One day, I believe that there Will be a couple countries in this world.

  19. I think the construction of the EU does not represent Europe, but only a small part of general unification ideologies. I share the opinion of Leopold Kohr who said “Europe’s political and economic disempowerment and its fragmentation in subnational units are Europe’s hope”.

  20. Mark says:

    We say ‘Yes’ to another access…

  21. R. Kortmann says:

    I fully agree with the statements above.

  22. Dr. Pavel Schmidt says:

    Reaching 80 this year, I can remember the second world war, when GB was taken in Czechoslovakia as a symbol of hope. My very strong and very sincere personal opinion: GB should rest inside of EU, and as the EU member try to play a more important role in Europe. It is the only reasonable solution for the present complex world situation (Russia…) taking also into account the future (China…).
    Dr. Pavel Schmidt

  23. I hope that the UK voters will vote in such a way that the UK will remain whithin the EU . That is my strong wish .
    However I totally disagree with the fact that UK has negotiated along the years a special status within the EU and , consequently , I totally diagree that the EU has ever accepted to negotiate this special status . All member states are equal in duties and responsibilities . If ever , by a democratic vote , the UK decides to leave the EU , that will not be a tsunami for the EU at all , as many so called politicians want us to believe , except maybe for the UK , but that will be then their problem . The rest of the EU has the power , the energy and the morale to adapt itself as it has done this way all over the past years , but then the EU should present the Invoice to the UK for all the subsidies it has granted the UK with along those years . However , let us not forget a very important historical thing ; the UK has supported alone the war effort against dictatures in Europe and thanks to the courage and dedication of the UK people , democracy finally won and we are at peace in Europe since almost 70 years , thanks also to the American people who came to help , what is called today ” PAX AMERICANA ” . When so many people , from so many different nations , have been working together for so many years , it would be insulting the future and our children to vote against our birth place and common heritage : EUROPE

  24. Dr. Per Sandgren says:

    If Britons voted out from the EU on Thursday, the consequences for Sweden will, most likely, be broad.

    We lose our most important ally, and we get a Europe that engage in issues other than those that are most important to us.

    Meanwhile, the unrest in the financial markets and the Crown loses value.

    We hope for a wise decision…

  25. Patrizia Ferretti says:

    I share the view that leaving the EU would negatively affect life sciences in the UK.

  26. Prof. Christos Yapijakis says:

    Britain is an important part of Europe, of European history and culture, and of the European Union (EU). EU has some problems, like any other place of this planet. Nevetheless, EU is one of the civilized oases in our mostly unhappy world. The wise (and beneficial to all people) goal of Europeans is to make EU a better and happier place, not to abandon it in a suicidal way. I am confident that most British will vote in a wise, utilitarian and pro-European way. I am only deeply sorry that the wonderful Jo Cox’s life was lost during this debate…

  27. Cees Veeger says:

    I agree that leaving EU shall lead to a set back of life sciences in the UK. Because of the many existing and fruitful cooperations existing between the UK and the EU.
    On the other hand Brexit will be beneficial for the EU, because it will end the contituous opposition from the UK against Brussels’ proposals and intentions, just with the vision the England can rules the waves.

  28. I completely agree. Leaving the EU would be a devastating blow for UK science

  29. Dr Ivaylo Zlatanov says:

    I hope British people will be intelligent enough to remain in EU.

    • Ranjit Mal says:

      EU is totally dysfunctional and there is little hope of improvement. Wishing to remain a part of EU is a death wish for UK.

  30. Keith Ray says:

    Uncertainty over what might happen to the British economy is a bigger issue that all of the others. Better to be in a strong position to negotiate and influence changes to things we dislike and support the benefits we obtain (eg collaborations) from being within the EU. The issue of Scottish independence will also be likely to re-emerge if Brexit prevails, bringing more political instability for the foreseeable future.
    Vote Remain.

  31. Dr Ivaylo Zlatanov says:

    Answer of the question “Who will win if UK leave EU?” is just obvious: Putin.

  32. We need Britain to make Europe a better place!!!!

  33. It will not make a difference one way or another.

  34. Birger Trollfors says:

    I hope that UK will stay in the EU. It would be very bad for European cooperation and integrity, if such a big country leaves.

  35. Brian Lilly says:

    To leave the EU would have a negative impact on the UK. So many industries including Biosciences and Pharmaceuticals have streamlined their processes across Europe to continue to optimize their returns and drug discovery. To remain in the EU would increase job opportunities and improve health care with new and improved discoveries through focussed research. Also, remaining in the EU would simplify communication with respect to legal aspects, compliance, manufacturing standards and distribution requirements as all members would be working within the same rules. Outside the EU multiple communication requirements would have to be managed for different countries thus slowing down the process and increasing costs.
    Remaining within the EU would provide a solid platform for each member country to increase their financial benefits which could be used to improve education, health care and generate jobs.


    I think if England separated from the European Union, it will begin dissolution.

  37. omer says:

    UK should stay in EU with provoking new aspets in EU.

  38. Antonio says:

    EU is future.
    Only Britain is past.

  39. Pradip Kumar Hore says:

    I wish Britain stay with EU. That will bring more opportunities and scope for the people of Britain as well as others. I am deeply saddened at the untimely death of Jo Cox at such an early age, a promising star of the humanitarian cause, who was an advocate of Britain to remain with EU. RIP

  40. piergiorgio messa says:

    I completely agree

  41. F. Solano says:

    yes, I do agree! Please, stay in EU. Britain and EU will be stronger

  42. Vito Turk says:

    Brexit will have bad consequences for life sciences in general, and Britain in particular . By all means, we all will be losers, however, our competitors will gain. I agree with A.Roghi that Brexit might cause ” domino ” effect with unpredictable economical, financial and polytical consequences. As scientist, working in life scieces ( biochemistry ), I am familiar with EU science, with or without Britain . There is no return, rivers flow in one direction. So, be clever and stay in EU !

  43. Carole says:

    UK..please stay in Europe, for so many reasons….we want you in our community! We love you and everything you have to offer..Europe will be much the poorer without you!!

  44. Paul Debbage says:

    My experience with the EU funding for biomedical research explains my opinion that GB should remain an EU member. When national funding was difficult to obtain for several reasons, including personal animosities, it was nonetheless possible to obtain funding from the EU arena. The larger pool makes for a better chance to be funded on merit rather than cronyism.

    In addition, why build a Europe full of barriers again? Such a Europe failed us several times in the last 100 years.

    In addition, England’s voice occasionally has a certain sanity that frequently enough is lacking in other EU states. Steer the beast from within…

  45. Renato Mariani-Costantini says:

    I think Europe needs the UK in. The UK is the heart of Europe, not its periphery.
    Brexit would be a tremendous loss for European culture and science, and would be a difficult challenge for the UK too.
    We need less bureaucracy and more substance in the European Union in all fields, particularly science. The UK should remain in Europe, and work for a renovation of the European Union and its scientific policies. The UK can help to change the shape of Europe for the better.

  46. José Ramón Alonso Fernández says:

    The current EU is rubbish, it does not look like the day we walked in Portuguese and Spanish. We must recover the foundational values and is the Union of Peoples and not of multinational companies. We must educate Bounced of Real Socialism (Eastern), that should not come to be prepared to assume the founding principles, including East Germans and Mrs. Merkel, who since unified, seems to want to win the II war, and I do not know if they are winning. This must be done from within.

  47. Frank van Amsterdam says:

    Apart from Life Sciences, if the UK leaves the EU and starts to put a limit to free circulation it can only go from bad to worse. It will be a negative spiral for all, including Life Sciences, and who knows when and how it will stop once things start to deteriorate. Only together we can solve today’s big questions, grow stronger and improve not only Britain but a lot more.

  48. Anastasia says:

    I think it wouldn’t make any difference if it stays in or out.
    This would affect UK’s economy but not Science.
    As we well know UK is the leading country globally in innovation
    and technology I.e. Computers, cars etc. So in or out it makes not difference. That it would make a difference is if Scientists could work together and share knowledge.

  49. Okan Akhan says:

    Yes I agree that Britain should stay in the EU as EU is the future.

  50. Marzia Martina says:

    UK should remain in EU, no doubt about it.

  51. I agree!
    Heads will roll because nobody is going to enjoy it despite the so-called advantages! The impacts will be on various spheres,economic,social,cultural,etc not only scienc/technology.
    In the world of today, nobody is independent and all forms of barriers are porous.


    I hope that Britons would choose Brexit. Brexit will help Britain to stand on its own feet from both economic and commercial point of view!! Britain doesn’t need EU!! It has a very good system of education which provides the state with many million pounds every single year. Its a state that heavy industry and farm production can sustain Britons, whereas Britain is the biggest oil producer in EU!!

  53. GKM says:

    The success and power of many studies rely on working together with research partners from across the EU, these are big serious studies that have the potential to transform treatments for diseases, that promise to bring significant benefits to our health and wellbeing. The U.K. Scientists are coordinating and leading these projects, thus generating many economic and health benefits, that will and is strengthening our economy and quality of life. The media has covered the opinions of scientists and university chancellors and their reasons for us to remain, including businesses, but I have not heard the voices from big pharmaceuticals in mainstream media, surely their opinion has to be heard?

  54. Margarita S. Chernov'yants says:

    I believe that Britain should remain in the European Union

  55. Carlo Bidoia says:

    Hi there,
    Scientists have to move freely to improve their skills and to reach the best results in their field of research. Frontiers are open but Europe is not for scientist yet:
    no similar pension rules,
    no similar taxation,
    no similar wages,
    no similar agreements when you are employed: for instance, in Italy we are “students” till a permanent position at the age of 40-50; in Ireland, I was paid 3 times more than in Italy as postdoc!

    Europe for scientists does not exist!! Just for the permanent position it is handly to have open borders.

    You close a country, you remove the first step for a great common improvement in research and development. It does not matter which country will close boundaries.

    Thanks for the attention

  56. Luigi Giusto Spagnoli says:

    Since the founding of the EU, England has expressed a critical if not unfavorable attitude to the European spirit, so he joined late and with reserves that have been increasing over time. Although with regret, maybe we should take note that this insular attitude (or isolationist spirit) makes England incompatible with a unified vision of continental Europe.

  57. Dieter Stoll says:

    In addition to the bad short and mid-term consequences on the European and world economy a Brexit would be a detrimental negative signal for the European idea which made Europe an island of stability and peace in the world.
    At the moment in many – if not all European countries nationalism gets more and more followers. Sometimes I have the bad feeling that the generation which built Europe was able to estimate such facts better than the actual generations. They knew from their personal experience that nationalism always leads to conflicts between nations. Every compromise and foolish administrative initiative was much better than the war these people had survived. A lot of scientific studies show that on the long run collaboration is always beneficial for all partners compared to the short term profits for one partner which is not a long term profit in the end – so avoid the Brexit and all other -exits in the EU

  58. chris bili says:

    Greece suffers economically for many years now but a grexit would hurm not only Greeks but all other EU members. A Brexit would be much more a dissaster for all Europe. I think that British people sould vote to stay and for once become a full and active member of EU.

  59. Letizia says:

    Yes, I agree and hope UK will not exit EU

  60. M. Valius says:

    Britain should stay in the EU. It will be better for all of us eventually.

  61. Yes UK should stay within EU for the benefit of all. Getting out is not giving power to influence anything in EU; it is together that we are stronger, not apart!

  62. Matthew Almond says:

    We must stay in! It is practically and morally the correct thing to do. I am voting myself later today and just hope enough others agree with me. I am cautiously optimistic!

  63. Sergey says:

    It is incredible, that scientists who should be able to see further than lay people in the street are all for the “IN” vote. Folks, do you not register that the propaganda for this decision would not be possible if there was no big money behind it. BIG money, transnationals, globalisation champions, money bags. Of course for them it is much more comfortable to drive the herd of cattle with one whip rather than trying to deal with individual countries.
    So far, I have not seen a single verifiable evidence that exit would be a disaster, only scare-mongering, emotional appeals, anything but real stuff. This is because NOBODY knows what is better, NOBODY. But one thing is sure. You are going in the direction chosen for you by the big brother, not by yourself.
    And HE uses fear as the main tool to drive you… If you exit it will be BAD!!! BAD!!! REALLY??? Dont you think it stinks?
    And if you (we) stay in, that’s it.
    EU has degenerated, it is a weird organisation where Germany has been given the role of a local manager… But the actual strings lead across the ocean. That’s why the propaganda is so powerful.

  64. Marija Rudolf says:

    I love Britain and I hope that Britain shoud stay in EU.

  65. Marija Rudolf says:

    I love Britain and I hope that Britain will stay in the EU.

  66. Andras Hrabak says:

    Britain should remain in the EU. Its leave may be disadvantageous for science both in GB and in the continental Europe. However, don’t forget, that this referendum is not about the science, and is caused by the dissatisfaction of the citizens with the European institutions – everywhere, not only in Britain. Therefore the democratization of the EU is the condition of its future – which should also involve the restriction of the power of the big industry and its lobbyists in these institutions, favoring the interests of the ordinary citizens. Otherwise the desintegration of the EU and the gain of the far right and xenophobia would continue…

  67. Brian says:

    There is no reason the Brits can’t continue to participate in whatever project they wish to if they leave the EU. The problem with inclusion is the destruction of existing cultures. There is a power play for globalism, a generic one world inclusion of all countries. I don’t see how existing cultures can survive if this continues.
    Even the Dali Lama understands that compassion is not limited to one side or one point of view. That an existing culture should not martyr itself to the brink of destruction. His statements are regarding refugees but the principle applies.

  68. Nikolai says:

    This is not constructive idea which complicated people life.

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