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The Royal Society of Biology and other sector leaders have said that they “collectively fear the destructive effects of a no-deal Brexit”, in a letter published today by the Independent.

The letter, signed by a number of chief executives and directors from organisations and learned societies spanning science, engineering, law, healthcare, energy and business, states that a no deal exit would “adversely affect the UK economy” and urges politicians to “unite to avert a UK-wide crisis.”

Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, chief executive of the RSB commented: “A no-deal Brexit would hinder progress in science and research.

"We hope that politicians from all parties will work together to ensure that an agreement is made between the EU and the UK that still allows scientists to collaborate and share skills and ideas freely and effectively.

“It is essential that UK scientific development does not lose momentum and fall behind.”

The letter is in full below:

No-deal Brexit is not an option for the UK

We are leaders from the legal, engineering and built environment sectors, from healthcare, academia, accounting, science, energy and business, and we are writing because we collectively fear the destructive effects of a no-deal Brexit on our sectors and, therefore, on the UK economy.

Between us we keep the wheels of the economy turning – educating, designing, making, powering, facilitating, discovering, innovating, promoting and restoring health, and delivering housing and infrastructure.

A no deal on 29 March would adversely affect the UK economy – hitting jobs, undermining tax revenues and impacting on public services.

So, we are urging politicians from across the divide to unite to avert a UK-wide crisis and find a way forward to ensure the end of our EU membership doesn’t end an era of unprecedented economic strength for the UK – with all the political and social fallout that will herald.

Christina Blacklaws, president, Law Society of England and Wales
Suzanne Rice, president, Law Society of Northern Ireland
Alistair Jarvis, CEO, Universities UK
Mike Cherry, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses
Venki Ramakrishnan, president, the Royal Society
Professor Paul Hardaker, CEO, Institute of Physics
Dr Robert Parker, CEO, Royal Society of Chemistry
Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, CEO, Royal Society of Biology
Alan Vallance, CEO, Royal Institute of British Architects
Lawrence Slade, CEO, Energy UK
Dame Professor Donna Kinnair, CEO & general secretary, Royal College of Nursing
Gill Walton, CEO and general secretary, Royal College of Midwives
Michael Izza, CEO, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Victoria Hills MRTPI, CEO, Royal Town Planning Institute
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General, British Chamber of Commerce
Tom Parker, president, British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium
Institution of Engineering and Technology

Find out more about what the RSB is doing in the run-up to Brexit and access resources with information relevant to the European and EU context for UK life sciences over on our UK Biosciences and Europe pages.