Following the announcement of the next Prime Minister, Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:
“Perhaps more than any new Prime Minister in recent times, Boris Johnson’s in tray is dominated by a single issue - Brexit. As he tries to find a solution to this issue, I urge him to pay heed to warnings of the grave danger that a “no deal” Brexit poses to UK biomedical research and to patients. The risks are real and must be avoided.
“Beyond Brexit, I hope that Mr Johnson and his Government will embrace research and innovation as a central pillar of the UK’s future. In the first instance he should show his commitment to the target to increase investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and 3% in the long term.
“The UK boasts a truly a world-leading research capacity. In 2018, 14% of the world’s most highly cited articles were published by UK authors, and yet, our research base is an area in which we have been underinvesting for decades.
“The case for increasing investment is clear; it is critical for developing treatments and improving care for patients; but it also delivers economic returns to the country to the tune of 25p per pound investment, each year, forever. Finally, it is a cause that the UK population overwhelmingly supports, with 94% believing that medical research will improve our quality of life over the coming decades.
“Mr Johnson must now act decisively to ensure that his Government avoids the grave risks of a no deal Brexit to patients and biomedical research. In the longer term, he must provide the investment and support that allows biomedical research to flourish, laying the foundations for a healthier, wealthier future.”
Read our President's letter in The Times 'Danger to medicine from a no-deal exit' here
See our joint call for the next Prime Minister to back R&D here