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Back page gossip from the 7 February issue of Research Europe

Right on More than 3,000 researchers in Belgium have signed a petition supporting the activists who have taken to the country’s streets to demand that politicians do more to combat climate change. “As scientists, and on the basis of scientific facts, we declare: the climate activists are right!” their open letter said. The activists include thousands of school children who have been striking one day a week for four weeks. One primary school child in Wallonia was pictured with a protest sign addressed to politicians that read: “I will do my homework when you do yours.”

Tick tock European politicians took just six minutes to issue statements rejecting British MPs’ demand that the Ireland backstop in the Brexit withdrawal agreement be replaced with “alternative arrangements”. That’s according to the Independent newspaper. It might seem fast but, to put it into context, on the date this issue of Research Europe is published it will have been 958 days since the UK held its Brexit referendum—so politicians have had plenty of time to think about it. There will also only be 50 days left until the country is scheduled to leave the EU. The clock is ticking.

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