Bill Gates positive on UK’s science and tech ability after Brexit

20.09.17

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Bill Gates believes that the UK can be a world leader in science and technology after Brexit.

Last year, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist, had warned that Britain was “stronger, more prosperous and more influential” inside the EU and that it would be “significantly less attractive” outside the bloc.

He is, however, much more positive now. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph on 13th September 2017, he said that the UK can remain a world-leading science and technology hub post Brexit, as long as it maintains investment in research and development and continues to attract talent.

Mr Gates’ foundation has invested £750 million in UK research institutions, and believes that Oxford, Cambridge, London, Liverpool and Edinburgh universities “are the best at doing lots of this important work”.

He said that he is not predicting a diminution in UK science, but the UK has “some challenges to overcome to make sure that doesn’t happen”.

He told The Daily Telegraph that the fact that EU has a single, unified regulator for drugs approvals has been “fantastic” for the countries involved and for getting medicines approved for use in developing countries.

Mr Gates had met with Chancellor Philip Hammond earlier this year and said that the Chancellor was keen to minimise any disruption to the scientific research in the UK.

In September the government outlined its plan for science after Brexit, pledging to maintain funding for medical research, space science and unclear innovation. It believes that continued collaboration in science and innovation is an important part of the UK’s future partnership with the EU.

Brexit Secretary, David Davies, said:

“A global Britain must be a country that looks to the future. That means being one of the best places in the word for science and innovation.

“This paper sends a clear message to the research and innovation community that we value their work and we feel it is crucial that we maintain collaboration with our European partners after we exit.

“We want to attract the brightest minds to the UK to build on the already great work being done across the country to ensure that our future is bright and we grow this important sector.”

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