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Straight talk Brexit: ‘Not with a bang but a whimper’

Phil Ward, deputy director of research services at the University of Kent and a Funding Insight columnist, reflects on academics’ jittery response to Brexit.

When the votes in the UK’s referendum on its membership of the European Union were being counted on the night of 23 June, I was flying back from Stockholm. As the aircraft passed over the Netherlands and out towards the UK we looked down at thunderclouds, lightning flickering silently among them. It wasn’t a good omen.

I woke the next morning to a text from a friend. “Disaster!” was all it said, and I couldn’t argue.

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