When we work together, we can achieve great things.
From space travel and vaccination to security and justice, we go further if we go together. But the so-called ‘oven-ready’ deal is failing us.
That’s why I am urging the UK to get a European deal which lets the UK work with the world, and lead the way on science, technology and security. Sign above if you agree.
Everyone wins if we share knowledge
Europe produces over a third of the world’s scientific output, 34% more than the US. Up to now that has included Britain's significant science output. The European Research Area is a massive open network which allows knowledge, technology and research to circulate freely.
We still have the opportunity to be a part of this, as well as participating in European fellowships, like the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme, and benefit from access to the European Research Council. The UK pays into and benefits from Europe's Horizon 2020, which funds cancer research and eco-technologies, among other things.
But as it stands, our scientists, our technology industry and universities could be barred from working with the biggest and the best organisations in Europe. We need a deal which keeps the UK a part of these collective research organisations, we can all benefit from sharing knowledge and know-how.
Let’s give British researchers the chance to work with the world.
Beat COVID Together
British institutions like Oxford University are leading the way in research and medical trials for a COVID vaccination. But if the UK doesn’t work with the rest of the world, all our world-leading research and development may be for nothing. Vulnerable groups need access to a vaccine: they simply cannot risk a delay.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) has an emergency procedure for the fast-track approval of a new vaccine in the event of a pandemic. International cooperation means a COVID vaccination can be rolled out quickly, and fairly. The UK’s future in the EMA and ECDC, and Europe’s medicines regulator REACH, is uncertain. And so is our access to the vaccine.
Europe asked the UK to join joint procurement schemes for urgently needed medical equipment and supplies, but the UK said no. The chance to join the scheme has passed - but we can make sure we don’t make the same mistake again.
We can be part of international efforts to stop COVID, and any other pandemic, in its tracks.
We can seek full participation in pandemic response schemes like Europe's Early Warning and Response System for disease control across borders. Disease doesn’t respect borders. We must work together to defeat COVID.
We want to ensure as many lives as possible can be saved when a vaccine becomes available. Let’s get a deal which lets us work with Europe and guarantees quick access to a coronavirus vaccine - we don’t want to be left at the back of the queue.
Keep the world safe
The UK has said it will not pursue any formal foreign policy links with the EU. Our partnership with European countries on security and intelligence keeps some of the threats that might face the UK at bay and at a greater distance - and that’s according to the former head of MI6. Outside of the single market, UK companies will find it much harder to participate in European defence projects, and to access European funds.
The UK is seeking access to Europol databases as if it never left the EU.
London wants to be a de-facto member of the Schengen Information System (SIS) without being an actual member, to gain access to information on migrants, border security, terrorism and other areas of law and order. The UK must share its security information - not just demand access to Europe’s.
If the UK doesn’t commit to being a full member of Europol and the SIS, we will miss out on crucial intelligence sharing, military operations and security know-how. Let’s get a deal which ensures the UK and the EU maintain a high level of security and intelligence co-operation. Let’s keep us all safe.
No place to hide: bring criminals to justice
Criminal and terrorist networks are sophisticated, technologically advanced, and operating across borders. If we work together, we have a better chance of beating them.
During the transition period, the UK continues to participate in Europol and the European Arrest Warrant. It’s used to arrange for criminals, drug traffickers and terrorists arrested overseas to face justice in the UK. Figures released by Best For Britain show that over the last 10 years, the UK made a total of 2,514 requests under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to other member states, and arrested 1,145 people.
In July, the UK took part in one of the largest ever, European-wide law enforcement operations initiated French and Dutch, resulting in over 800 arrests. If we don’t get a close and comprehensive deal with Europe, those criminals would still be on our streets.
The UK will become a haven for European criminals fleeing justice, and British criminals will be able to escape to the Continent. But if we cooperate with our closest allies, we all benefit. Let’s get a deal which protects us all.
Give our students world class opportunity
The Erasmus student exchange programme has seen 150,000 students study in 33 participating countries. Erasmus, Erasmus plus and Vocational Education and Training has ensured studying abroad is no longer an elite experience. Giving students of all backgrounds the chance to experience a different culture has an impact on our society and our workforce. It’s available to anyone and everyone - whether you’re a student, an apprentice or a trainee.
For many it’s their first opportunity to travel abroad. Erasmus graduates gain an international perspective, making them more likely to gain foreign language proficiency and value different cultures. But most crucially the employment opportunities provided by Erasmus have never been more needed. We are in a period of record unemployment. Young people need
But the UK has not said the Erasmus programme will continue - even though ‘third-countries’ like Iceland and Norway still participate. This programme is indispensable for our young people. So many have benefited from studying abroad - surely it’s only fair to give our children the same opportunities we had. Let’s make sure we get a deal which includes participation in Erasmus.
If the Government is serious about making Britain global, we must work with the world, in science, intelligence, technology and law enforcement.