No, Stephen Hawking, Science Doesn’t Need Any Help from The European Union


Stephen Hawking and 150 other distinguished scientists – all fellows of the Royal Society – have written a letter to the (London) Times saying that if Britain leaves the European Union it would be a “disaster for UK science.”

No it wouldn’t.

Only 3 per cent of science R & D funding in Britain comes from the European Union. And it’s not as though we should be grateful for this sop: not when you consider that Britain puts far more into the EU than it gets back in return. If we were out, we could decide for ourselves how much we want to spend on science – and on which projects – rather than having a bunch of incompetent foreigners decide for us.

When I say “a bunch of incompetent foreigners” I mean just that. Look at the example of the EU’s flagship GPS project in which 28 states have come together in peace and unity and utter pointlessness to spunk Euros 13 billion of taxpayers’ money on a satellite navigation programme that no one actually needs any more because there’s a perfectly good one available already.

Is that the kind of science project we’d tragically miss out on if Britain were to quit the EU? Thirteen years delayed, three times overbudget and the space age equivalent of a chocolate ashtray? If so, I can’t say I’m going to be weeping too many bitter tears for the scientists we would have paid for to do that particular job.

Oh but what about CERN? Imagine! If it hadn’t been for the EU we might never have discovered the Higgs Boson…

Bollocks we wouldn’t have done.

Another of the myths being put about is that leaving the political structures of the EU will affect our participation in the CERN project – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research and home of the Large Hadron Collider. This is simply not true. CERN is an international collaboration of many countries, including many non-EU nations. The UK were founding members of the project back in 1954, and are currently CERN’s third largest contributor. The official status of the EU in respect to CERN is that of an OBSERVER, along with UNESCO, Russia, India, Japan and the USA.

Freedom of movement for scientists then. Think of all the brilliant researchers who’d be denied entry to Britain…

Read the rest at Breitbart.