Is there no joy Brexit won’t provide?

Gender pay gap expert among top professors quitting Brexit Britain
Leading academics in climate policy and economics have also had enough of hostility – and funding goes with them

Joy, joy to behold:

When the EU referendum result was announced Vera Troeger, professor of quantitative political economy at Warwick University, was at an academic conference in Brussels. She spent the whole day crying. Today she has had enough, and is leaving the country where she has built her career.

Troeger, an expert on the gender pay gap and the impact of parental leave policies on productivity, was associate editor of one of the most highly ranked academic journals in political science. She has been in the UK for 14 years and loves Warwick, but she has accepted a professorship at the University of Hamburg. After more than two years of uncertainty, she says other European colleagues, too, are preparing to go.

“I have a lot of academic friends over here from Spain, Italy and France, and they have all congratulated me on leaving all this behind,” she says. “Of course the academics who will be able to leave are mostly the successful ones. It will be a brain drain.”

Last week Universities UK, the vice-chancellors’ body, criticised the government for failing to provide enough protection for research in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The government pledged to underwrite awards from the European Research Council’s €77bn (£67bn) seven-year Horizon 2020 programme. But furious academics have discovered that while existing grants will be covered, there is no funding for new applications in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Horizon 2020 funding being allocated to those who push the EU’s line on such matters anyway, right?

So, good riddance.

37 comments on “Is there no joy Brexit won’t provide?

  1. Splendid!

    Only the guardian would treat as woeful something which is amusing and joyous.

  2. The point is that the EU-funded research grants not only push the EU line, (you don’t get the money, else), but as a net contributor to EU funds, the UK by definition gets less than it puts in.

    In my academic career, I discovered that being an EU project grantholder, you had almost unlimited licence to go to nice places, and to carouse and dine at EU expense. A bit like any EU job, really. Latterly, the Uni I worked at wouldn’t allow me to submit grant applications to the EU, despite being a fairly leftist institution themselves, because they maintained that the funding model was indistinguishable from corruption, and would never pass the Uni’s auditors. (This was where the Uni counts the cost of its staff and facilities as its 50% contribution to the project. Frankly, my experience was that the ‘Management’ operated practices that shouldn’t have passed the Auditor either, but that’s another issue). What’s more, funds through UK Research Councils have been unavailable for some time if you didn’t toe the official line on such things as AGW.

    As for the bitch in question’s research topic, it is completely fatuous. There’s a lot of it in Academe. We had one fat bitch feted for her ‘Action Research’ in Education, which basically seemed to involve keeping a record of the very few lectures she delivered (badly, I heard) and publishing them on line – blogging we’d call it today. While blogging serves a role (blog roll jokes at this point), no-one really thinks it is fundamental research.

    Hamburg can keep her.

  3. Looking up her research, it’s a bit dismissive of the Guardian to call her a “gender pay gap expert”. She’s written some decent papers – for example she explains how the welfare state survived tax competition by shifting the tax burden from capital to labour. On the gender pay gap, the only relevant papers I can find are on the factors employers weigh when deciding to offer maternity pay.

    All that said, it doesn’t actually matter. The beauty of science is that when something is discovered in one country, it tends to benefit the entire world.

  4. @former university engineering academic

    While not wishing to defend the Eurocrats, it is actually true that the UK does pretty well out of the current academic funding side since the UK has far better universities than the rest of the continent so the UK gets far more than it’s percentage contribution to the academic budget. This doesn’t alter the reality that the UK is a net contributor so if the UK leaves, it will be able to maintain the current level of academic funding and still have money left over.

    Whether we’d want to fund piffle like the stuff that Mr Potatohead works on is open to debate.

  5. I wonder whether it ever bothered her the palava with work permits her non-EU colleagues had to endure?

    Or is there a sense that the EU immigrant academic is superior to those from the rest of the world, and will be sorely missed?

  6. Guardian, still trotting out reasons to cancel Brexit and stay.

    This Troeger case is compelling. YOU MUST STAY!

  7. It speaks volumes for the Graundidian’s world view.

    The soppy old rag thinks being a “gender pay gap expert” is a profession quite capable of supporting a girlie in a style becoming her, no further attributes needed. It was probably the most important job title the “reporter” could dream up from a quick precis of Vera’s accomplishments.

  8. If we are paying our share of the budget through to the next cycle as has been pointed out then surely theses budgeted programs should still be available to U.K. to receive or have funding extended. I’d like to think the divorce bill netted off amounts we would have to find direct, but then that wouldn’t be punishing us enough

  9. The Guardian regularly claims that their are armies of well qualified youngish people who want academic jobs and can’t get them. Shouldn’t it be celebrating her departure on behalf of millennials?

  10. JRM seems to have lost his bottle and is willing to kiss Treason’s arse. But likely too late now unless she plans to suddenly find enough spine to bring back MV3–and it likely still won’t get through. DUP now last hope for the GE we need. That will fix the bloody lot of them.

  11. Just signed the petition Doc Bud recommended. That’ll be the first time I’ve interacted with the Brexit process, apart from commenting on it. For someone who’s no intention of ever returning to the UK, or even staying in Europe & who’s only real link with the country is his passport, didn’t feel it was a moral position to take part in the referendum. The UK’s future’s nothing to do with me. But enough’s enough. I’m no doubt petitioning against my own personal interests but the UK parliament’s making my ex-country a laughing stock. Leave. Now.

  12. Ecks, my MP – solid no compromise leaver – has told me that the boundary reform will probably be voted on this September, but is likely to fail “due to vested interests”, by which I suppose he means the DUP.

    So if Maybot and the Vegetables call a GE we’ll probably get a hung parliament.

    By the way why doesn’t Brenda intervene?

  13. why doesn’t Brenda intervene?

    Much as she hates to get sucked into politics, there’s not much point in having a sovereign who isn’t sovereign. If Parliament fails, and the Queen – the ultimate backstop – does nothing, people will wonder what the Crown is for.

  14. May’s weekly sessions with HMQ may increasingly contain the odd acerbic comment from the sovereign and if parliament sets itself up in opposition to the people (and to its own earlier votes and undertakings) wouldn’t it be nice to have a Royal Backstop?

  15. Troeger, an expert on the gender pay gap and the impact of parental leave policies on productivity, was associate editor of one of the most highly ranked academic journals in political science.

    Someone like this leaving a country does not contribute to a brain drain… Not even in Britain.

  16. Steve,

    “Much as she hates to get sucked into politics, there’s not much point in having a sovereign who isn’t sovereign. If Parliament fails, and the Queen – the ultimate backstop – does nothing, people will wonder what the Crown is for.”

    Opening hospitals, doing events, receiving flowers. The monarchy are just a branch of celebrity. The Beckhams with less talents and tattoos.

  17. I too have been wondering about the blessed Brenda’s position in all this. Not just in terms of her real internal thoughts about it all, and wondering what the weeklies are like, but also if she, constitutionally, really should be kicking some arse. I thought that the Speaker is, in a round-about way, HMQs representative in the Commons, and that she therefore should be pulling him up on his constitutional shenanigans. Perhaps I am fantasising too much, but if I were her – probably into her last decade as Monarch – I’d be saying ‘fuck it, let one do it’, and chuck a well-aimed brick-laden handbag into the mix

  18. @ Lockers
    NO – the Speaker is the counter-weight to the Sovereign, there to protexct the poor ickle MPs from the big bullying King (or Queen).
    If Bercow was to represent HM he’d need to learn better manners.

  19. The monarchy are just a branch of celebrity. The Beckhams with less talents and tattoos.

    I dunno, Meghan looks like she probably has a tattoo somewhere naughty.

  20. @Mr Ecks March 26, 2019 at 11:36 am

    JRM is a big disapointment. I’m sickened by him and many others surrendering to May’s “Deal” by saying “at least we’re out”.

    No we’re not as everyone from Blair to Farage and JRM said in November. They all said it’s worse than being in EU. NI Backstop is only one of many “traps”.

    For JRM, Liddle, Haligan, Lawson et al to change their tune is betrayal.

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/11/mays-brexit-deal-40-rebuttals-to-no-10s-rebuttals/

    The U.K.’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, has succeeded in what she set out to do. She has brought the country together. Politicians of all colors, along with their supporters, are at last in full agreement. They are united in their hatred of Mrs. May’s Brexit deal. And with reason. It is a terrible deal.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/francescoppola/2018/11/24/why-theresa-mays-brexit-deal-is-terrible-for-the-u-k/

  21. If we were a parliamentary republic our president would probably already be Frank Field which would solve the problem quite nicely.

  22. Pcar – I have some sympathy for Moggses argument (at least we’d be LEGALLY out), but I fear it’s a strategic error to back the WA.

    There’s no reason to believe the follow up negotiations would be any more favourable to the UK, even if May isn’t around.

    It’d take a Trumpian act of negotiation to turn the WA into something that offers the benefits of Brexit, basically we’d have to go in prepared to unilaterally rip up the agreement if/when the EU refused to fundamentally amend it, and then weather all the bitching, moaning, trade spats and lawsuits.

    But the same Vichy parliamentarians would still be around to bed-block, and so would our treasonous civil servants, while most of our media would continue to treat every utterance of the sainted EU as divine wisdom, and every half-hearted attempt to promote British interests as bigoted lunacy.

    And by being complicit in substituting Not-Brexit for Brexit (albeit with hopes to fight on), Mogg and co. would lose at the moral level – which is all they have going for them under current parliamentary arithmetic. That’s not a small thing to lose, at a time when the population is increasingly disgusted with politicians of all parties.

    Also, it still doesn’t look like the WA is going to pass anyway, so Mogg is dirtying his hands for nothing.

    Half a loaf is indeed better than none, but the WA doesn’t look like bread to me, it looks like a blank cheque made out to Michel Barnier.

    Brexiters aren’t good at Machiavellian plots, more’s the pity, so they’re better off sticking to being straightforward and honest – which is their only USP in modern politics. Let the WA fail. Let the rest of Parliament commit treason if it’s feeling brave. This government probably won’t last into April under current management, so let’s see what turns up.

    If Conservative Party members can wrest control over their party, it has a future. If not, it’ll be replaced. Either way, passing the WA would be a shameful thing to do to our country, so let’s not do that.

  23. Steve said:
    “And by being complicit in substituting Not-Brexit for Brexit (albeit with hopes to fight on), Mogg and co. would lose at the moral level – which is all they have going for them under current parliamentary arithmetic. That’s not a small thing to lose, at a time when the population is increasingly disgusted with politicians of all parties.”

    Yes. If we’re not going to get out properly, let’s at least clearly not get out and see who the enemy are.

  24. I have a lot of sympathy with Steve’s view (pbuh) of the monarchy.
    By nature I’m more of a Republican, but England’s twisted, inbred, bastard of a system seems to kind of work. Or at least has done until that evil creature, Blair got his hands on the levers of power.
    Being conservative, I’m not inclined to change things unless there’s a compelling reason.
    What recent events have shown however, is that there needs to be a serious clear out of all the dead wood. And that includes the monarchy. If Brenda and her successors are disinclined to wield what little power they have remaining to the benefit of their nominal subjects, then there is little point any more in keeping them around. Let them show future generations the ‘best of’ clips on Dave and use them as tourist fodder. But oaths of allegiance et al. – bugger all that.

  25. BlokeInBrum,

    No, it doesn’t. I wish people would get over this nonsense about the unwritten constitution and the idea that Brenda somehow protects us. The Labour government scrapped the right to jury trial in all cases with a simple majority.We have people being bothered by the police without committing a crime. Is Brenda doing anything about this?

    She does a load of ceremonial stuff. But she really has no power and in her decades on the throne has never once tried to use it.

  26. BonM4,
    Thats my point, she has nominal powers, which at no point has she ever tried to excercise.
    So lets just admit that hers is a purely ceremonial position and do away with all the rubbish about oaths of allegiance and the power to dissolve parliament etc. etc.

    The thing is, unlike other Royals elsewhere, the Queen truly has real power and influence. If that is not used for the benefit of her subjects, then there is little point in keeping her around. Let her and her family wither away into insignificance.

  27. Sean Gabb refers to her as Elizabeth the Useless.

    He is correct.

    Across her entire reign our nation has been slowly and steadily turned into a police state and she has done nothing but sign every POS the Hall of Turds voided her way.

  28. “JRM seems to have lost his bottle and is willing to kiss Treason’s arse.”

    A bit like every other time then really? Mogg talks a good game but when it matters he’s always acted in the interests of his party and their goal is ultimately remain in any shape or name.

    The WA It’s a trap, it’ll be used to show what a bad idea Brexit was and force us to come crawling back to the EU to sign up again and reinforce Labour and the Conservatives position by giving them an excuse to pretend as if they actually carried out our wishes, better to let them show their contempt for us so there will eventually be a reckoning.

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