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National academies weigh in on post-Brexit immigration debate

The government will fail to deliver its ambitious R&D target if it does not fix the country’s immigration system, the presidents of the four UK national academies have warned ahead of an impending white paper on immigration.

In a letter addressed to home secretary Sajid Javid, the presidents of the Royal Society, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences said attracting international talent was crucial to a world-leading research and innovation system. 

“As our economic competitors strive to boost their research and technology sectors, the most sought after international talent can choose to go elsewhere,” they wrote. “If they are faced with excessive bureaucratic or financial barriers, or if they are given the impression that the UK is becoming more inward-looking, the UK will lose out.”

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