Friday, June 24, 2016

Topic of the day: Brexit

I don't think I have anything intelligent to add to the discussion, not being a subject of the UK, nor a citizen of the EU. Thanks to C&EN's Alex Scott and his article on potential Brexit impacts (written before the referendum), I learned that the European Medicines Agency is in London 
For the U.K. pharmaceutical industry, a Brexit risks causing uncertainty and creating barriers to investment. “It’s vital the U.K. remains engaged in the EU to influence legislative and regulatory policy developments affecting the life sciences ecosystem,” says the BioIndustry Association, a U.K. industry organization. Ninety life sciences firms have stated publicly that the U.K. should stay in the EU. 
Additionally, if the U.K. votes to Brexit, two European pharmaceutical institutions currently based in London—the European Medicines Agency and a part of the EU’s planned unitary patent system—would have to relocate to an EU country.
I believe the EMA is basically the EU's version of the FDA. The German pharma sector calling for them to leave (and relocate to Berlin?) already.

I was also surprised to learn that good ol' Paul Hodges (Captain of the DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM team) was actually voting Remain. Huh.

I presume there are a raft of people who have Marie Curie Fellowships and the like, who may face some trouble? Readers, your thoughts? 

9 comments:

  1. As the astute political analyst Donald Trump* (and numerous conservative radio talk-show hosts) noted, Britons are angry and have taken back their country.

    To those Brits who are hurt by the withdrawal, remember the Jane Fonda principle, "no pain, no gain".

    * http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/25/us/politics/donald-trump-scotland.html?_r=0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is their country, and Britain was able to run themselves for some time, so they can do so again.

      All pain, however, is not gain; sometimes wrecking something doesn't lead to something better, particularly if you don't know what you're doing. Sometimes it can lead to something better, but not all of the people are around to see it (Europe in the 20th century?).

      Delete
  2. Interesting breakdown of the Brexit vote by age at election.princeton.edu.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I keep telling you that you're all going to die, but no one listen to me most of the time. Well, this is my chance to tell you that you are DOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEd!!!!

    But hey, maybe if the pound stays this low and you're an industrial chemist, there might be more jobs opening up soon in England and multinational pharma outfits will not be as eager to cut costs in that particular country. That currency needed this level of correction for a long time now and especially the last two years were getting a bit dire.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My thoughts = we're screwed... I hope it doesn't mean anything as bad for science as everyone's saying it will mean. As for students and postdocs from EU or with funding from EU, I really don't know what will happen to them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Huh, hadn't thought of the EMA thing. There's a fair old clinical trials industry here in the UK - I know a number of former med chemists now working on the trials side. I wonder if their jobs will relocate to wherever the EMA ends up. Am off to a wedding where there will be a bunch of folk from that industry next month - it will be interesting to gauge their mood.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here's the turnout in the Brexit vote by age.: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/brexit-vote-one-chart

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mainstream media loves a good apocalyptic story. The initial drop in stock prices was expected, but so far the low price of oil has had a bigger impact on my portfolio. Pound goes down in value but is this a bad thing? Whenever the dollar goes down my multinationals go up in share price. Seems unlikely that Germany and France will try to make an example out of Britain. Lots of people leave France to get jobs in the UK. France doesn't want these people coming back with no job. I wonder about import taxes. Cars are manufactured in Britain. Will they impose an import tax to bring them into EU countries? While no one knows exactly what will happen, some of the negative comments I see on Facebook are laughable. One guy with a PhD and Law degree stated that he's tearfully taking one last look at his 401k before the market opens. Maybe he should consider that there are lots of people who have no 401k, yet they don't shed virtual tears on Facebook about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the UK decides to export to the EU under WTO regulations as the U.S. does, thus avoiding EU immigration requirements, then tariffs (10% ?) will be charged.

      Delete