Independence ‘will harm research’

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SCOTTISH independence would damage the UK’s life sciences research, a Government minister will claim today.

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman has said that if Scotland were to leave the union, research carried out at universities in the country could no longer be funded the same way.

The Government say Scotland has benefited from an integrated UK research framework, securing £257m of UK Research Council grants in 2013, alongside medical research charities’ investment of around £1.1bn per annum in research, 13 per cent of which is spent in Scotland.

Mr Freeman will say:“Scottish science and innovation makes a vital contribution to the UK’s world-class research base, bringing benefits for business and society as a whole. Our position has been made very clear to date on this important issue: if Scotland left the UK, the current framework for research could not continue. All evidence suggests being part of the UK complements and strengthens Scotland’s world-class research base. “