Why Britain’s Snap Election Is Bad News for Science


Credit: Jay Allen Copyright: Crown Copyright
Theresa May has a questionable history with science and tech policies, and her leadership might now be extended.

By Ben Sullivan | MOTHERBOARD

With British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to force the UK into a last minute general election scheduled for June 8, the British people are looking down the barrel of a prolonged scientific and technological dark age.

If the Conservative Party wins the 2017 general election, its rule can be extended until at least 2022. Only nine months into her leadership, May’s policies on tech and science are a taste of things to come. Where do I start?

Oh yes.

In January, the government was accused of all but burying a significant climate change report. This was after May’s lips remained sealed following America’s inauguration of a president who once said climate change was a hoax and presides over an environmentally unfriendly White House. There are also worries that Brexit will lead to a lapse of Britain’s commitment to European climate change regulations.

May’s determination to a Hard Brexit is also hurting European scientists, many of whom are now looking to leave the UK, or debating their decision or ability to even study or research here in the first place.

Shortly before her ascension to leadership, acting as Home Secretary in May 2016, May also introduced the Psychoactive Substances Act, a policy that outlaws drugs known as legal highs, such as Spice, and substances capable of „stimulating or depressing the person’s central nervous system“ and affecting „the person’s mental functioning or emotional state“.

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