EU Referendum: Tell us what you think…
Posted: 20 June 2016 | | 35 comments
With only days to go until Britain holds a referendum on its EU membership, we can’t help but wonder how you feel…
With only days to go until Britain holds a referendum on its EU membership, 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
UK pharma businesses should start assessing the Brexit effect
Competition is the best precondition for technological and economic progress, whereas subordination to majority decisions is the safest way to mediocrity. Britain (like any other country) will be more successful outside a political union like the EU. Brexit would be a strongly needed signal to revisit the political harmonization of europe with all its extremely costly consequences.
This is a big story that I do not know if our opinion for it, counts. See what happened with Grexit , the ” NO to EU” result transformed to “YES”
For sure the initial European vision must be enhanced in order to support all member countries equal partnership, if not … things will be driven to the same road (with or without BRExit)
Leaving the EU would be damaging for every UK business currently trading with the rest of the EU or partnering with EU business. The effect would be immediate as business seek to protect their supply chains and would continue for years to come. I back Remain 100%.
Science is a human patrimony that should always be against borders and fences. Anyone who wants to discriminate humans in groups for giving a particular group privileges is against science and against humanity at large.
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!!
I hope that Britons will 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!!
If the common man of this great nation cannot see that the corruption of the EU is a vile as that of the African nations, exploiting thier hard working, low paid people, then I am afraid we had better go ahead and stay and plunge this great Country of ours into the bowels of the rest of the bankrupt EI nations that suck the life blood out of this amazing country we have forged over hundreds of years.
This is not a scourge upon hard working, well meaning immigrants but a scourge upon those that apply laws our country must abide with which harms our nation to the detriment – whilst they in the EU echelons continue to extort massive amounts of coin from it regardless of the harm thier mandates impose.
A vote to remain is, in my opinion, completely ignorant of the fact that our money is not being wasted in this country, but exported to EU where they burn it how they see fit and laugh at us from a distant.
We know very well the affects of remaining in because we see and have seen the waste over the years – it is now time to balance that measure and give back to the British Tax Payer their freedom to control vi Westminster, which is by far from perfect but at least we can do something about that every four/five years.
We need to open our eyes, as the saying goes from an advert pitched on TV used by a popular charity for their campaign slogan.
Free Britian to serve the rest of the world and not be enslaved to the EU, who need us more than we need them.
Fact: we import more from them than we export to them. Trade tariffs will hurt their economies more than our own.. Wake up British People, please!!
Travelling Europe, I see the benefits economically and scientifically. Britain needs to be part of the EU club rather than trying to exist in some sort of splendid isolation idyll circa 1952 that never really existed. EU club needs Britain as well.
So I have used my postal vote for remain.
My view is that Britain should remain part of the European Union. Scientists and institutions need to collaborate beyond British borders and the fewer barriers there are, then the better
Agreed! Stay stay stay!!! we are in Europe and stronger in Europe. Embrace Europe and contribute to make it better. Remain=progress, Leave=regress. I cannot even believe we are arguing about this.
I’m in favor of the UK remaining within the European Union. It would be a big mistake to leave this Union and yes agree the consequences on the UK biotech and pharma will not be good.
If the EU will be based on the economic collaboration only, it make a sence. All other fields of “directive collaborations” are useless and nonsence.
Brexit would be a set back in Biomedical research for both the UK and the rest of Europe.
There are serious limitations in Europe. Many things that need to be corrected among all members, taking people’s opinion and votes into account – for a refreshing change! But the alternative shown at this point by Brexit supporters seems to be much worse.
The traditional role of England in European power politics was as a counterbalance so no country dominated in Europe. With the UK outside the EU this influence will be lost.
The fallout will be economic, political and social. The UK will have less access to the second largest economy after the US. It is most likely than Scotland will exit the UK to remain in the EU. Also younger, more educated britons identify as Europeans and are comfortable with this role.
One implications for the pharmaceutical industry is the EMA headquarters moving out of London.
Thank you for asking for my opinion conc. Brexit. Perhaps I am not competent
enough to answer this question since:
i) I am Austrian
ii) I have ever been sceptical towards the EU from a general point of view, in particular, since the time it has grown to an ungovernable size (at least according to my mind).
But during course of time, I have experienced that British representatives at EU Parliament often were sceptical as well and sometimes very critical of EU decisions – I feel great sympathy for those people and would like that my own representatives would have the guts to fight against fatal or just silly decisions – mind famous Margaret Thatcher who obviously never was fond of EU – and she was right.
British (and other European nations’) people should ask themselves:
Are the benefits from EU really compensating the disadvantages? If so, which are the benefits?
In fact, I can see no real benefits being in the EU:
1. It was claimed that the exchange of persons (e.g. scientists), goods, money and other things would become easier. Perhaps this is true conc. goods, but what for? Now trucks are riding across Europe, sometimes only with the aim to replace warehouses because the latter are more expensive than “mobile storing”.
Before EU times we (Austria) could easily “import” scientists especially being officers – their former salaries and credits were just transferred – this is not possible with EU any more; sometimes scientists from Germany can not afford to take a position at Austria now, since their accumulated social assurance times are lost. Money transfer in the sense of common currency is easier indeed, but what for?
Comparably “rich” countries like Germany (and Gt. Britain!) feed the comparably poor countries like Greece. But there, the common people have no benefit from the money – most of the support is transferred to accounts at Switzerland by government or wealthy persons. I have forgotten:
The transfer of people is easy when you consider fugitives or terrorists. Without borders – at least in the beginning through Mrs. Merkel’s fatal decision to open borders – we have imported lots of sinister mobsters from the outside.
2. It was claimed that the extension of the EU would contribute to wealth and peace. The opposite is the case. The only war within Europe at recent times was provoked by the German Minister of the Exterior, Mr. Fischer – a fan of EU. His permanent denial and military suppression of Serbian (and Russian) positions almost led us to World War III. Now the situation is similar: The complete silly decision (by EU, supported by USA) to try to incorporate Ukrainia into the EU without careful negotiations with Russia almost led to a hot war. And wealth? Former poor countries in the EU are extensively supported by EU, e.g. Romania. But billions of Euros have disappeared without any trace or hope of getting the responsibles to court. The officers at EU are knowing all this, but are just shrugging. When I have an EU project running they will control every cent which is spent.
3. It was claimed that customs between the different countries a.s.o. is much more expensive than the EU administration. This is the most ridiculous argument. EU has, according to my informations, 3000 officers with an average salary of perhaps around 8000 Euros, the higher officers earn 15.000 Euros and commissioners 30.000 Euros per month. But when you see sessions of the EU Parliament in the TV, you will observe that most of the seats are empty. What are they doing the whole day?
Once per year the whole Parliament with all stuff and acts is moved from Strasbourg to Brussels – just for fun. This costs lots of money with nobody knowing the sense behind.
So I would state that EU is the most giant money burning machine on Earth. And the effect?
1. They prescribed the height of working rooms. Now many craftsmen in small trades had to close because they were accomodated in old buildings where a change of height was not possible. Thus they had to close. This concerns thousands of family businesses at Germany, some of them several centuries old.
2. The disaster with the “new” light bulbs due to allegedly saving expenses for the current. These bulbs contained mercury vapour. Now shattering such a bulb is highly poisonous, moreover the bulbs have to be put to the special waste and removed expensively.
3. The disaster with the 10%bio-ethanole. Many motors do not bear this mixture and can be destroyed when using. Moreover, farmers – also in the poor countries of the World – are encouraged to cultivate their fields with maize just for bio-ethanole and not for reasons of nutrition. So EU also destroys the small markets… (can be continued arbitrarily).
From all these reasons I would be glad if the British people could decide to perform the Brexit. Before the times of EU, British experts, science, industry and goods have been famous in the World – there is no reason that this will change after a Brexit.
Moreover, I hope that this would have an “imitation effect” for other countries of the EU. But I am afraid that the EU lobby, which has undermined the public opinion everywhere, will prevent this wise decision.
With best regards
Dear Prof. Dr. Werner Lottermoser,
I fully agree with you. I agree especially with the sentence of “…EU is the most giant money burning machine on Earth.” It is a nightmare that there are as many “official languages” in the EU as many counties. Examples can be continued arbitrarily and endlessly. British people can help to make the very first step towards the “renovation” of EU. I keep my fingers crossed.
As an outsider and a non-businessman I can tell a very little about this. I have been in the UK for a few years about ten years ago. And I have friends who frequently visits UK. What we gather is that the disciplined society we have seen those days are not there anymore. This is not only about business and technologies. It is also about the civil society. To keep the living standards of the society at a higher level. And crimes and unemployment have become rampant. I hope the civil society will rightfully decide whether they need to be in EU or not anymore.
Leaving EU – would not only be a major setback for the economic in Europe – but it would effectively damage the outlook for the UK for the next 10 years at last.
To be realistic – the upcoming taxes in trade with the EU – would drain the UK GDP more – than it could benefit from the potential rise in trade with non EU countries elsewhere. The Leave camp dreams of an association with the EU after the Brexit. They want to reach conditions like Norway and Switzerland have agreed – but none of the Brexit supporters – seems to have had a diligent look on those agreements… Because they mean more cost for the UK, almost complete coverage of the EU legislation without having the chance to influence it. With the cost argument of the Leave camp in mind – it is for the UK more realistic to get an agreement like Moldova than Norway. To me the UK and the EU are playing a loose/loose game.
UK has to remain in EU to strengthen the Pharma Industry in EU & UK
I think that it is an understatement.
I also think that instead of the BREXIT nonsense, Britain should show that it is capable of participating in a reconstruction effort to pull Europe away from the even bigger nonsense of neo-liberalism and recover the healthy european ideals that shaped the european community.
Leaving the EU will certainly not be a setback for Life Sciences and Sciences in the UK. The UK can benefit developing better relationships and collaborations with the countries in the Common Wealth, which are where the economical growth will be. Certainly not in the EU with a mountain of debt, a population becoming old and older, numerous bureaucrats and complex procedures and guidelines. Brexit will allow the UK to really question its future and redesign it. Being in the EU always requests to ask their opinion to 27 countries and Brussel bureaucrats, which interests are far from the UK ones. British scientists are good enough to imagine a new future for the UK. Regarding economical growth, just have a look to Switzerland, Norvegia, Australia, Canada who are promoting other ways than those imposed by EU thus demonstrating that Brussel is wrong. Perhaps right with France and Germany but wrong for most of the other european countries.
Look at the Money. According to their own page Horizon 2020 received 6.9 bln Euro from the UK. In turn the UK got funding of 2.6 bln. Does this not imply that after Brexit the UK would have more Money for Research than before?
I am a Spanish scientist and I think that one of the fundamental challenges of our generation is to contribute to building a united Europe. In a world full of wars and problems, the experience of centuries of Europe should serve to build a hotbed of peace and welfare for the Europeans themselves and other peoples of the world.
For me the EU is like a family: sometimes scold, sometimes we do not talk, but there is always the memory of the past and common family and hope of children.
In Spain are thousands of English to spend his last years in a calm and sunny weather. Our young people go to UK to learn English and to contribute in different jobs. Let us continue together!
No I don’t agree EU is not perfect but can be improved. UK will loose more than what they feel will gain by leaving EU. For UK science will be a real loss.
My very personal opinion is that the EU administration would need a strong lesson. Leaving EU has not been considered seriously till now. However, changing situation and condition in time must automatically be accompanied with the possibility of having a chance to reappraise our former decisions. It seems to me that this “paragraph” is missing in the EU basic treaty. Furthermore, EU administration has become more independent from the people of Europe, from the nations of Europe. EU leaders make decisions that do not match the opinion or wishes of people in the EU countries. Nota bene, EU leaders think that referendum is again democracy; and it is ridiculous. Thus I do think that positive outcome of the BREXIT referendum would initiate deep change in the present EU administration and leaders’ way of thinking. I do not think that if UK will vote for leaving EU will result in very serious and unsolvable problems in any level and any way of every-day life both in the UK and in the EU. I think there will be only positive outcome as the result of the BREXIT referendum. It is time to see problems in EU not only from the point of view of world economy and money-world but also from the point of view of the interest of people and nations in EU.
I agree with you. Just adding that Brussels is against democracy because the EU bureaucrats have no arguments to oppose to citizens who are willing to leave EU, be in the UK or in other European countries. Should Brussel EU be a democracy then Brussel would have supported the decision to have a vote in the UK. Actually, Brussel EU is to the Western Europe what Soviet Union was to the Eastern Europe. Therefore are Poland and some other Eastern Countries very cautious when it goes with EU bureaucrats.
I would like to stay.
First and foremost the EU is a political idea – a liberal block of countries cherishing freedom, the rights of the individual and determined to avoid armed conflict between nations. A disarmament of vicious and domineering nationalism. A hard learnt lesson after 150 years of almost continuous warfare between empires later nation states and a pointless sacrifice. The economic and other small interest group arguments re British membership currently in circulation are tedious and a mere side-show. They only confirm C. DeGaulle’s thesis that “the English only want a free–trade zone” and hence he kept the UK out whilst alive. Of course, it is also true that at heart De Gaulle was an exponent of opposition against Anglo-American domination in Europe. However, thanks to the EU, Europe has remained at peace – bar the Yugoslav episode, which was essentially a belated aftermath to WW 1 and 2 plus the Cold War — whilst it has become stronger and remained prosperous. A huge success overall, but still an experiment and in need of a lot of reform.
I would argue that UK BREXIT is a historically outdated idea exploiting a public culture that has its mirror image in what has been going on in Russia in the past 70 years. Both Britain and Russia have meddled in Europe in the last 200 years to make sure neither France nor Germany dominate. Since the EU and the unification of Germany they can no longer do this (small wonder Mrs. Thatcher opposed German unification ). Both the UK and Russia have failing economies relative to their respective potentials and stagnating or deteriorating standards of living. A major reason for this is the failure to move away from the disproportionally large scale production and sale of arms. Needless to say the UK has done much better (in many ways it is the victim of its own successes in the 20th century) but the underlying problem is the same. Add to this xenophobia: both countries are culturally isolated in one way or the other from mainland Europe. Cyrillic script in Russia , a lack of a second language and island isolation in Britain, the Blair government went as far as abolishing the compulsory teaching of a second language in England after age 14. PLUS in both countries rampant and virtually unchallenged gloating postwar propaganda. What does the BBC invariably put on at Xmas?? The Dambusters…
Here and now the proselytizers of Brexit seize the mood of a generation indoctrinated by postwar propaganda and presently disenchanted with economic depression and austerity measures to make the EU their scapegoat. It could also be the Jews a la Hitler but that’s as yet still unacceptable in the UK. All this in full cahoots with Rupe Murdoch’s posse of cloaca journals and reeking FoxSkyTV oozing a breed of populist nationalism fed by ignorance. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.
In essence, BREXITers are reaching back to Sir W. Churchill (fittingly as Rupe was nourished on these ideas) : the English speaking nations standing up against the Communists (read EU socialists/federalists) and thereby protecting the British Empire. The Fulton speech http://www.historyguide.org/europe/churchill.html.
Sir Winston was the ultimate British Imperialist, a direct ideological descendant of Cecil B Rhodes , but forced to rule by US proxy. Thus, in terms of historic thinking BREXIT is a deluded blast from the past. The “Empire” is now held together by Murdoch’s global media interests and related political meddlings. If successful, it will put the Great in Britain on the scrapheap of history. Those who don’t recognize the call of the times get left behind and disintegrate.
The biggest pharma market in the world is India, which the EU prohibits UK from forming a free trade agreement with. Asian countries hint that they would form free trade agreements with the UK in the event of Brexit, which would offset negative effects in the unlikely scenario that the EU enforces a trade embargo against the UK for leaving. I really don’t understand the remain campaign’s argument.
Leaving the EU would be a set back scientifically, economically and even politically.
I absolutely agree with all of your statements.
Leaving EU could be a setback not only for Life Sciences, but for the whole economy of the UK. Brexit will not only weaken UK, but the whole Union. Opposing globalization can bring some short-term advantages for English people, but can not stop it. Brexit may also contribute to the disintegration of GB. And yes, UK pharma businesses should start assessing the Brexit effect.
Couldn’t agree more. The industry experts are absolutely right, it would be a major competitive disadvantage for the otherwise so strong UK life sciences.
Leaving the EU would be extremely damaging for UK science and for the wider UK economy. The current evidence is absolutely compelling and it is no surprise therefore that scientists in the UK overwhelmingly back the Remain campaign.