Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

UK introduces new fast-track visa to attract scientists

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged £300m for research into advanced mathematics

Pedestrians wave European Union (EU) and British Union flags in Grand Place square in Brussels, Belgium. Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg
Pedestrians wave European Union (EU) and British Union flags in Grand Place square in Brussels, Belgium. Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new fast-track visa to attract more of the world’s best scientists to the UK in hopes of creating a global science superpower.

Mr Johnson paired the announcement of the Global Talent route programme with a pledge of £300 million for research into advanced mathematics.

The money will help to fund researchers and doctoral students whose work in maths underpins myriad developments such as safer air travel, smartphone technology and artificial intelligence.

There will be no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK under the programme, which starts next month.

“The UK has a proud history of scientific discovery, but to lead the field and face the challenges of the future we need to continue to invest in talent and cutting-edge research,'' Mr Johnson said.

“That is why, as we leave the EU, I want to send a message that the UK is open to the most talented minds in the world, and stand ready to support them to turn their ideas into reality.”

Britain is facing its biggest immigration shake-up in decades after it officially leaves the EU at 3am on Saturday, UAE time.

After Brexit, EU citizens will lose the automatic right to live and work in the UK, and Britons lose the right to settle in the bloc’s 27 remaining nations.

That has sparked fears that Britain may face shortages in key employment areas.

Updated: February 2, 2020 11:46 AM

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