Brexit and the EU
We're working with the UK government and others to achieve a Brexit settlement that allows research to thrive in the UK and Europe.
On this page
Knowledge and understanding don’t stop at borders. Nations will always achieve more together than separately, whatever the legal agreements that exist between them.
So we’re asking for a Brexit settlement in which:
- people from the EU who currently live and work in the UK feel welcome and stay – so that individuals, teams and institutions have the confidence and stability to plan ahead
- the UK develops a simple, swift post-Brexit immigration system for skilled researchers, technicians and innovators – so that the UK maintains its place as a world leader in global science
- the UK keeps access to EU research funding if possible, or if not explores alternative, international funding schemes – so that scientists in the UK still have a good range of potential funding sources which recognise the importance of excellence and collaboration
- the UK and the EU cooperate on life sciences regulation – so that research isn’t burdened by bureaucracy, and cross-border collaboration can flourish.
What we’re doing
We want to help achieve a Brexit settlement that supports scientific excellence, international cooperation and collaboration.
Future Partnership Project
Both the UK and EU have been positive and ambitious about working together on research and innovation after Brexit.
Together with the Royal Society, we’ve launched the Future Partnership Project. We’re asking individuals and organisations from across the UK and EU for their recommendations about how future research and innovation partnerships should work in practice.
We’re looking for input from anyone with experience of, or expertise in, international research partnerships.
If you’d like to be involved:
- by 1 December 2017, please submit evidence you have already commissioned or produced on UK and EU research and innovation partnerships, or the potential impacts of Brexit, to Sophie Bennett (Sophie.Bennett@royalsociety.org)
- by 8 January 2018, please submit answers to some or all of the questions set out in our Future Partnership Project consultation [PDF 231KB] to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final recommendations will be published in spring 2018.
Timeline of key dates
- We publish recommendations from our Future Partnership Project, setting out a plan for future UK and EU partnerships on research and innovation.
- We invite individuals working in research organisations in the UK, Canada, Israel, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland, to discuss the future of international collaboration [PDF 406KB], including Framework Programme 9.
- The UK government outlines their position on a future research and innovations partnership with the EU. Our Director, Jeremy Farrar, responds in a comment piece in The Times.
- The UK government releases a range of position papers on customs arrangements, legal arrangements and data protection following Brexit. Natalie Banner highlights the importance of continuing to share data in Research Professional.
- As the formal negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union begin in Brussels, Jeremy Farrar outlines what science needs to thrive post-Brexit.
- A report commissioned by eight leading UK medical organisations highlights how partnerships between UK and EU medical researchers have increased the value of research, benefiting patients across Europe.
In a letter to the leaders of UK political parties, we outline three areas that the government must consider to sustain scientific excellence in the UK.
- Article 50 is triggered, starting the formal process of the UK leaving the EU.
- We publish an update from Jeremy Farrar on our position and work to make sure science flourishes in a post-Brexit world.
- Jeremy Farrar sets out the critical issues that need to be resolved for the UK to attract the world’s finest scientists in a joint comment article in The Times with the Director of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar.
- We give evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry: Brexit: regulation and standards (oral evidence).
- We give evidence to two House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiries: Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research (written and oral evidence), and EU regulation of the life sciences (written and oral evidence).
- We give evidence to the House of Lords inquiry: The relationship between EU membership and the effectiveness of science, research and innovation in the UK (written and oral evidence).
- Catch up with news about our work to influence European Union policy.
If you have any questions, contact Stuart Pritchard
The European Union supports science through legislation, funding opportunities and programmes to help cross-border collaboration.
Science policy affects a broad range of issues, ranging from data sharing and gene editing, to intellectual property and regulation.
The UK has a world-leading research environment.