In recent years, the United Kingdom has benefited from the exodus of talent experienced by Spain, due to the economic crisis and the paralysation of hiring within its scientific system, and non-renovation or even firing of researchers as a consequence of the reduction of budget for scientific research and high education. This has led to the existence of a huge pool of researchers from our country (as well as other parts of the EU) in the UK, who can be dramatically affected by the exit of UK from the European Union—the so-called Brexit.
In face of the apparent inexorability of that process, we must be ready for what can happen from now on. The negotiations with the EU are going to be long and hard in many aspects, but it is obvious that one of the most conflictive issues will be migratory policy and, in particular, the possible limitations to free movement of people between UK and the EU. The researchers from the EU who work in UK, as well as students and other collectives, will undoubtedly be used as bargaining chips in the talks, as both parties have already stated in a more or less explicit manner.
Recent public statements by political leaders have not helped to calm the waters. On the contrary, the British Government has threatened to take potentially discriminatory measures, such as asking companies for data of immigrant workers. This is something that sounds really striking in a country that hosts millions of immigrants since decades and where the socio-economic fabric is already multicultural in nature.
In sum, the process, whatever end it finally finds, is being already worrying for many colleagues. Uncertainty does not stop feeding fear and we know that the latter can end up in paralysing those who suffer it and, in this case, by extension, also their scientific work.
For these reasons, the SEJyD wants to express its most sincere solidarity with the Spanish researchers working in UK, whose future depends to a large extent on a process which will be as predictably long as uncertain.
Furthermore, the SEJyD, the SEPEX and the individual persons who decide to adhere to this manifesto, state our commitment to use the media to denounce, in case they take place, the situations and policies that could jeopardize the individual rights of EU scientists in UK or their research activity.