Daily Management Review

Brexit will help Britain become a biotech R&D center


Brexit can become a great opportunity for the UK to realize their potential of local science, particularly biotechnology. Now, the development is largely prevented by the European Union limits, but Brexit would give the United Kingdom a whole new world of opportunities, Bloomberg writes.

Henk Caspers/Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Henk Caspers/Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Currently, the UK can equally be called a superpower in the field of science and in the field of finance. However, commercialization of research is still at a fairly low level, said British MP George Freeman.

During his speech at the Congress of the Conservative Party in Birmingham on 3rd October, Freeman urged to make science a "national mission", referring speech of US President John F. Kennedy on the space program "Apollo". "Exit from the European legal framework means that we can get rid of a number of pointless restrictions. Achievements of modern biology and medicine are perceived negatively in Europe, and it's scary. Such an attitude hinders science and us ourselves. The world is on the threshold of a new era of biotechnology, but Europe itself builds a wall between themselves and the future ", - said Freeman. However, the politician did not name any specific steps to implement the program, but promised to do this by the end of 2016.

His commitment to science was supported by the British Chancellor of the Treasury Philip Hammond. He promised to invest £ 100 million in genetic engineering for the pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical industries, and £ 120 million more - in development of cooperation of British universities and companies engaged in biotechnology.

"I want to see what will be invented, developed and sold here in the UK. I want that this money helped my country to create a new place, to earn an income, to collect more taxes, "- said Hammond. Minister for Business and Energy Greg Clark also sympathized ideas of his colleagues.

Freeman is one of authors of new strategy for the UK industry, which will be used in conditions of withdrawal from the European Union. According to him, liberation from the EU's restrictions "easily compensates" risks associated with restriction of access to the European market.

"If we adapt legislation on biomedicine and genetic engineering to the changed conditions, the UK will very quickly become a world center for research in these areas. We will be a few steps ahead of the competition" - excitedly told the conservative.

Freeman added that it is important to keep headquarters of European Medicine Authority in London. Representatives of Italy have already offered to transfer the headquarters to Milan. According to the parliamentarian, it is necessary to show Europe such a change wouldn’t be beneficial. Freeman is sure Brexit would be a good impetus for others to strive for the future, just like the United Kingdom does, rather than clinging to "outdated" rules. 

In his speech, the politician supported decision of the Prime Minister Theresa May to approve construction of an additional unit of Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, and also spoke in favor of foreign companies, which have expressed great interest in buying British companies. According to Freeman, if the foreign investors’ intentions are serious, designed for the long term and would benefit the UK, the government should support them.

source: bloomberg.com