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Scientists attack immigration cap

`Cap threatens country’s future as centre of scientific excellence’

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07 October 2010: The UK’s proposed permanent cap on immigration has come fire from a group of Nobel prize-winning scientists. They have shot off a communication warning that the cap threatens the country’s future as a centre of scientific excellence.

In the letter to the Times, as many as eight UK academics have asserted visa curbs would deprive science and industry of talent.

They claimed it was a "sad reflection" of affairs that scientists and engineers could not be given the same exception to the rules as Premier League footballers.

They have written the government has seen fit to introduce an exception to the rules for Premier League footballers.

"It is a sad reflection of our priorities as a nation, if we cannot afford the same recognition for elite scientists and engineers.

“The UK must not isolate itself from the increasingly globalised world of research – British science depends on it”

They added: "International collaborations underlie 40 per cent of the UK’s scientific output, but would become far more difficult if we were to constrict our borders.

"The UK produces nearly 10 per cent of the world’s scientific output with only 1% of its population; we punch above our weight because we can engage with excellence wherever it occurs.

"The UK must not isolate itself from the increasingly globalised world of research – British science depends on it."

The assertion came soon after Russian born physicists based at the University of Manchester Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were named as winners of the Nobel Prize in physics. As of now, nothing has been heard from the Prime Minister on their success.

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