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R&D world weighs up Sunak and Truss

22/04/2021. London, United Kingdom. Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss meets with Dan Tehan, Australian Trade Minister to discuss trade negotiations in the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in London. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

Sector fears for EU ties if Truss becomes prime minister, while Sunak gains support

The R&D sector is seeking signs of support for science from the two candidates for UK prime minister—and while there is cautious optimism about former chancellor Rishi Sunak, foreign secretary Liz Truss’s approach is causing concern.

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s government, which included Sunak and Truss, was elected with a massive majority in 2019 on an agenda that promised to make the UK a “scientific superpower” and double public R&D spending. Since Johnson’s resignation, Sunak and Truss have not yet been as vocal about supporting R&D, with their campaigns to replace him revolving around reducing taxation and the cost of living.

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