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Science and engineering in the 2014 European elections 16.05.14

CaSE publish party responses to questions about policy

With polls just under a week from opening in the 2014 European elections, the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) have published the main parties’ responses to their questions on EU science and engineering policies.

Commenting on the responses, CaSE Director Dr Sarah Main said: “The European Union plays a huge role in supporting UK science and engineering so party positions on Europe have a big impact on UK science. Today, people can make up their own minds from each party’s response to our questions.”

All three of the major parties, along with the SNP and Plaid Cymru, emphasised the important role European funding plays in UK research and stressed the need to maximise the benefit for their respective constituents. The UKIP response from Roger Helmer MEP, however, made it clear “[that] it is a fundamental plank of our policy platform that the UK should leave the European Union.  As such, we are not primarily concerned with planning or designing policy at the European level.”

“You make the point that EU funding is an important element in research funding in the UK.  We would turn that point up-side down, and point out that every pound of EU funding received by projects in the UK typically costs the British economy around £3, when you consider the overall balance of EU membership net and gross costs, and offset the administrative costs of applying for, and managing, EU programmes.”

“We would argue strongly, therefore, that research in Britain would be substantially better funded in an independent Britain not subject to the costs of EU membership.”

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