Britain must remain a member of the European Union if its higher education sector is to maintain its status, quality and research capabilities, a university lobby group has said.
UK prime minister David Cameron is planning to renegotiate Britain’s ties to the EU and then, by the end of 2017, hold a referendum on whether the country should stay in the bloc.
Brexit would harm international academic collaboration, Julia Goodfellow, president-elect of Universities UK, said, yesterday, at the launch of a university-led campaign attended by pro-EU lawmakers.
“The case for staying in Europe is about ensuring the future prosperity of the UK,” she said. “It’s about maximising the chances of new discoveries that enhance the society in which we live, it’s about the UK’s standing in the world, it’s about British jobs and it’s about opportunities for British people.”
Those co-ordinating the campaign to keep Britain in the EU have underlined the importance of having a broad range of pro-European voices to avoid the perception that politicians and bankers are trying to bully voters into staying.
Chancellor George Osborne, Cameron’s lead negotiator in the push for EU reform, met French ministers yesterday, the second day of a mission to win support for EU-rule changes.
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