Science and Technology Framework

Stephen Metcalfe Excerpts
Tuesday 7th March 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Michelle Donelan Portrait Michelle Donelan
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What I can do is reaffirm the commitment that by 2024-25 we will have a record level of R&D spending in this country: £20 billion. Rather than simply standing here announcing endless pots of money, we are being strategic in our spending, and working with the sector when we come up with our policies and plans.

Stephen Metcalfe Portrait Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock) (Con)
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I welcome the statement and wholeheartedly support it, but may I remind the House that science is a global endeavour? If we are to deliver on the ambitions set out in the framework, we will need to work with our partners. May I ask my right hon. Friend to look at the visa system in particular to ensure that it does not act as a barrier to attracting world-leading scientists and technicians to the UK to help us to deliver on those ambitions?

Michelle Donelan Portrait Michelle Donelan
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I completely agree with my hon. Friend. Part of the framework is about our international collaboration with partners. Of course we need to grow our own talent, a point made earlier by my right hon. Friend the Member for Tunbridge Wells (Greg Clark), but we also need to attract talent, and to ensure that our visa system—as well as many other factors—enables that to happen. I will continue to work on that issue across Government.