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136 academics have ‘abandoned’ Sussex Uni because of Brexit claims Crawley lib Dem candidate

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136 EU academics from Sussex University have quit in the three years since the Brexit vote, research by the Liberal Democrats claims. This is up 403% from the 27 who left in 2015/16, the year before the Brexit vote.

42 academics from the EU left Sussex University in 2018/19, the figures show.

The analysis, based on Freedom of Information responses from 81 universities, shows that across the country 4,014 EU academics have left UK universities in 2018/19.

The Liberal Democrats said the figures reveal that uncertainty across Crawley over freedom of movement and international research funding is leading to a “Brexit brain drain.”

According to the Liberal Democrats, academics face uncertainty over both their immigration status and their funding following Brexit, meaning the UK risks becoming less competitive in attracting global talent. Previous analysis by the Royal Society has shown that the UK’s share of total EU research funding has already fallen from 15.8 per cent (€1.49bn) in 2015 to 11.3 per cent (€1.06bn) in 2018.

The findings are also consistent with recent research by the higher education industry body Universities UK which reported that 60% of universities surveyed believed they had lost existing or potential staff members to overseas institutions because of Brexit.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Crawley said:

“It is deeply concerning that Brexit has already drive n 136 talented academics to abandon Sussex University. We must do everything we can to stop our universities from being threatened by this Brexit brain drain .

“The Tory party has adopted the xenophobic rhetoric of Nigel Farage, making our colleagues, friends and family from the EU feel unwelcome. The situat ion risks being made even worse by Boris Johnson’s reckless promise to crash us out of the EU by 2020 no matter the cost.

“The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can still stop Boris, stop Brexit, and protect our university which is so important to local jobs and prosperity. It’s not too late to turn the tide and prevent Boris Johnson from imposing his divisive and damaging Brexit plans on Crawley.”

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Debating the Queen’s Speech

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One week after the General Election in December, the Queen’s Speech took place in the House of Lords chamber. While read out by Her Majesty, the document is of course written by the government of the day, and outlines the legislation it wants to put to Parliament in the coming year or two.

This last week has seen the Queen’s Speech debated by MPs. With priorities including delivery of Brexit, enshrining in law the largest ever NHS funding settlement and making sure serious offenders serve proper custodial sentences, I support the agenda and look forward to voting in favour of it in the days ahead.

The Speech includes proposals to make it law that an extra £33.9 billion every year by 2023-24 goes to the National Health Service. The NHS Funding Bill was introduced in the House of Commons earlier this week, and is due to be debated in Parliament later this month.

On Monday I spoke in the Queen’s Speech debate, about Britain’s role in the post-Brexit world. Decisions taken at home can support Global Britain abroad and so in turn help our nation be more prosperous and secure.

The last three and a half years saw our country go to the polls for one referendum and two general elections, needing to make clear on three separate occasions that Crawley and our United Kingdom support leaving the European Union.

In my speech I reiterated Crawley’s consistent position on this issue, and the wider sense of British fair play and democracy.

One such example is though support for the right of the Chagossian people – many of whom have made Crawley their home – to return to their homeland. We can still do right for those wronged by the Harold Wilson government half a century ago.

Britain is at its best as an outward-looking, ambitious, free-trading country, promoting liberty, the environment and justice around the world. The best years of Britain as a global nation lie ahead of us.

Henry Smith MP
Crawley Constituency

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