UK Nobel winners back EU after Brexit poll boost

11th June 2016, Comments 0 comments

Thirteen of Britain's top scientists signed a letter backing the campaign to remain in the EU Saturday after a dramatic new poll boosted the Brexit campaign.

Nobel Prize winners including Peter Higgs -- after whom the Higgs Boson, believed to explain how matter acquires mass, is named -- and geneticist Paul Nurse said the loss of research funding would be one consequence of leaving the bloc.

Ahead of the June 23 referendum on European Union membership, the race is looking extremely close.

An online ORB poll for the Independent newspaper Friday sent sterling falling after indicating that 55 percent of Britons want to leave the EU, compared to 45 percent who want to stay.

An average of the last six opinion polls by academics at the What UK Thinks project indicates the race is tied, with each side on 50 percent.

"The prospect of losing EU research funding is a key risk to UK science," the scientists wrote in a letter published by the Daily Telegraph.

"Science thrives on permeability of ideas and people, and flourishes in environments that pool intelligence, minimise barriers, and are open to free exchange and collaboration.

"The EU provides such an environment and scientists value it highly."

Meanwhile, one of Britain's leading inventors, James Dyson, came out in favour of leaving the EU.

He told the Telegraph: "We will create more wealth and more jobs by being outside the EU.

"We will be in control of our destiny. And control, I think, is the most important thing in life and business."

Dyson is a billionaire best known for his bagless vacuum cleaners.

His company says its products are used in over 65 countries worldwide.

© 2016 AFP

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