Now that Brexit is finally here, we thought this would be an appropriate time to assure our customers and distributors that as British and EU standards diverge, Cairn will continue to comply fully with the EU ones, and will take all necessary steps to do so. If this requires us to set up an office in the EU, then we already have contingency plans in place. However, since Brexit has primarily been driven by ideology rather than by practical considerations, we suspect that the scope for such divergence is going to be rather limited, so we hope that we will be able to carry on very much as before.
We suspect that the primary negative impact of Brexit on our business sector will be on the free movement of people, which is critical for the international collaborations on which scientific research thrives. Regardless of whatever “special arrangements” may be made for them, Brexit is sending out entirely the wrong signals to the international research community. A collapse in applications from the EU has already led to the cancellation of this year’s advanced microscopy course in Plymouth, and we are beginning to hear of similar problems with other courses. Since Brexit could therefore be very damaging to British science, we are keen for practical reasons, as well as for those of principle, to support research in the continuing EU to the greatest extent that we can.
The international movement of people has far broader benefits of course. Previous movements have ensured that several of us at Cairn are of sufficiently mixed origin to be eligible for citizenship in the continuing EU. Martin our founder and President is in the process of applying for Irish citizenship, James our Marketing Director is following close behind, and several more of us have similar potential safety nets in Ireland or elsewhere. For us lucky ones at least, the potential impact of Brexit will be somewhat softened, but we are fully commited to ensuring that the impact on you all will be as little as possible.