British Scientists 'Dropped From EU Projects' Amid Post-Brexit Fears

David Cameron
David Cameron speaks with scientists at Oxford University on May 3, 2013 in Oxford, England. In some cases, British academics have been asked to leave EU-funded projects or to step down from leadership roles because they are considered a financial liability. Oli Scarff/Getty

Britain's vote to leave the EU has sparked discrimination against U.K. scientists and researchers, a report has revealed.

In a confidential survey of the U.K.'s Russell Group universities, the Guardian found cases of elite universities coming under pressure to abandon collaborations with European partners. In some cases, British academics have been asked to leave EU-funded projects or to step down from leadership roles because they are considered a financial liability.

Incidents reported by the universities suggest that researchers across the natural sciences, the engineering disciplines and social sciences are all affected.

The Guardian reports in one case that an EU project officer recommended that a lead investigator drop all U.K. partners from a consortium because Britain's share of funding could not be guaranteed. The note implied that if U.K. organizations remained on the project, due to start next year, the contract's approval would be delayed until Britain had agreed a fresh deal with Europe .

The backlash against U.K. researchers began immediately after the June referendum when the failure to plan for a post-Brexit Britain cast serious doubts over the chances of British organizations securing future EU funding. British researchers receive about £1 billion a year from EU funding programs, but access to the funds must be renegotiated under Brexit.

Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, University College London and Imperial College are among the 24 universities in the Russell Group regarded as Britain's elite institutions.

British Scientists 'Dropped From EU Projects' Amid Post-Brexit Fears | World