Brexit fears continue to plague European scientists

Most EU researchers think of leaving the United Kingdom, survey finds.

Brexit, the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, continues to foster anxiety among European nationals who work in Britain as scientists and in related occupations, a study finds.

A membership survey by Prospect, a London-based trade union whose members include 141,000 scientists and engineers, found that nearly 70% of the 650 respondents who are European nationals are considering leaving the United Kingdom. About half of those respondents work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The numbers echo findings from a January survey of 1,000 UK-based university faculty and staff members. That study, conducted by the University and College Union, which represents UK higher-institution employees, found that 76% of respondents who were EU nationals were considering leaving the United Kingdom in the wake of Brexit.

The Prospect study reveals ongoing concerns about the free movement of highly skilled workers and uncertainty about how the government will address migration issues.

Nature 552, 281 (2017)

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