Re: Academics need a reality check
"Many academics are pro-EU because a lot of their funding passes through EU programmes."
Citation needed. Very few academics actually get EU funding, compared to the number of academics in UK universities. There are a few schemes like Marie Curie that have a fair few people, but compared with RCUK, EU funding is much smaller. I offer another potential explanation.
"Many academics are pro-EU because they spend a lot of time going around the EU, have friends in many different countries, and being in the EU makes their lives a lot easier."
There is, of course, a third explanation, but you might not like it. Academics are, on the whole, among the best educated in society. Being anti-EU is correlated with being xenophobic and racist. (Not a perfect correlation, but enough of one to work statistically.) Being xenophobic and racist is highly inversely correlated with education. Therefore academics, statistically, are more pro-EU than society at large.
"rules that make them "partner" with second rate EU universities, rather than first rate global ones, and that the money is allocated to EU political "priorities", not scientific ones."
Rules for ERC Starting grant: the primary criterion is excellence of research. Nothing more.