British Ecological Society response to the UK’s EU referendum result

We are the world’s oldest learned society for ecology, with over 5,000 members based across the globe.

British Ecological Society image of Europe from Space

A significant number of these members live in, or come from EU countries beyond the UK.

We are an inclusive, international society, and following the news that the UK has voted to leave the EU, we want to reassure all our members that we remain committed to fostering international collaborations, working with our sister European ecological societies and other partners. We will continue to engage with, provide opportunities for, and represent all our members, wherever they may live.

Many ecological issues are of international concern and impact, so effective cross-border collaboration is essential to address these global challenges. In the UK, environmental policy and legislation currently operate within a framework predominantly shaped by the EU. It is essential that we retain the successful components for effective environmental protection within the UK, and that we ensure that any changes in legislation as a consequence of the vote to leave the EU are informed by the best ecological evidence. We will continue to make this case to policymakers.

International research collaboration, which the EU has done much to support and foster, is vital for advancing ecological science and for our members. Maintaining funding levels, strong international partnerships and the free movement of people and ideas will be critical, and we will continue to work closely with the wider scientific community to protect UK science and higher education from the potential adverse effects of leaving the EU. We fully support the Royal Society of Biology’s recent statement.

We always want to hear from our members, and welcome your input to help us shape our priorities in the months ahead. Please get in touch to let us know your concerns and views about how the referendum result will affect your work, and update your details on our expertise database to be kept informed of the latest opportunities to contribute.

We will be considering the future of environmental policy in the UK at our People, Politics and the Planet event on 21 July – please join us to put your questions to our panel of leading politicians.

Dr Hazel J. Norman
Executive Director