World-leading scientists and mathematicians from across Europe have warned against a hard Brexit if the UK is to preserve its vital research.

In a letter addressed to Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, 29 Nobel Prize winning scientists and six winners of the prestigious Fields Medal urged them to pursue the “closest possible cooperation”.

French biologist Jules Hoffmann, Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen and ​German biologist Christiane Nusslein-Volhard were among those warning that leaving the EU could establish barriers to scientific partnerships that have provided a massive boost for European research.

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