Bosses at Aston University in Birmingham are calling for the UK to remain a member of the European Union (EU) – but have admitted they only want the UK to stay in because they receive money from Brussels.
In a recent statement Aston University was quick to point out the monetary benefits it gets from the EU. Professor Simon Green, who is the director of the Aston Centre for Europe stated: “the funding we get from Europe, which supports our European Bio-energy research among many others, keeps us at the cutting edge of world research, creating the jobs and technologies of the future,” the Birmingham Post has reported.
He added, “I have no doubt that our continuing members of the EU has a great many benefits,” though neglected to mention any.
Professor Green should be able to point out how European Union funding has benefitted him personally however. A project listed on the Aston University research page entitled The Political Challenge of Managing Migration in the UK and Germany shows Prof. Green applied to the EU-funded German academic exchange service (DAAD) for a total of £57,912 on January 23, 2012 and three months later was awarded £62,891 from DAAD.
The attitudes espoused in Green’s research on migration may reflect the same views as his article a year ago for the website The Conversation where he has written on the subject of Germany’s anti-mass migration PEGIDA movement. In the article he calls the leader of PEGIDA Lutz Bachmann a “petty criminal”, accuses the group of being comprised of “extreme right-wing gangs and the neo-Nazi NPD party,” and says PEGIDA does not speak for the “body” of the German public.
Prof. Green also parrots the same rhetoric espoused by corporate banking giant UBS, exposed by Breitbart London, which states, “Germany will need more migrants over the coming decades to mitigate the affects of an ageing population and to plug skills gaps.”
Another Professor at Aston’s Centre for Europe who benefits greatly from EU membership is David Bailey, a Professor of Industry in their Business School. Prof. Bailey received at least £132,701 directly from the European Commission between 2014-2015. He also writes for the Birmingham Post on the subject of the UK auto industry. In one article for the Post he argues in favour of EU membership, saying that the UK should remain a member because of the single market, unified standards and the ability to influence them. While Prof. Bailey insists that he argues for the British auto industry, at least one auto giant disagrees with him.
International auto manufacturer Toyota has already said that a British exit from the EU won’t deter them from doing business in the UK. The car giant said they had buried a time capsule to be opened in 2090 and had no plans not to be there to do so, regardless of a Brexit – quite contrary to what academics like Professors Bailey and Green are saying.
The funding figures for both professors are in addition to their salaries. The salaries of West Midlands university faculty chiefs were the subject of controversy last year when it was revealed that some faculty members were making almost, “three times the salary of the Prime Minister.” Aston’s vice chancellor alone was paid £278,000 in one year.
Lucy Thomas, deputy director of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign has made a statement about university funding, saying that regional universities could “win” £500 million of research funding if the UK remained in the union. She did not specify how likely it was that any university in the area would receive the funding but only that it might be “put at risk” by a possible Brexit.
But the opinions of the universities, which are often publicly funded, contrast sharply with an increasing portion of the private sector. As Breitbart has reported, more and more private business leaders are losing confidence in the EU. According to accountancy firm Deloitte only 62 per cent of CFOs from the FTSE 350 support the continued membership of the UK within the union.
On Wednesday it was revealed by European Commissioner Jonathan Gaull that the European Commission intends to continue “information” efforts in the United Kingdom during the referendum period.