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
Future Partnership Project
Building a Strong Future for European Science: Brexit and Beyond [PDF 641KB] sets out our view on how a new EU-UK research partnership should work. Our findings draw on what we learned from 200 organisations and individuals through the Future Partnership Project.
You can also read the:
- consultation report [PDF 337KB]
- submissions [PDF 12.5MB] we received
- evidence synthesis on the EU-UK relationship on research and innovation [PDF 383KB] by the Royal Society.
- Future Partnership Project statement: an ambitious and close future partnership between the UK and Europe [PDF 785KB].
Timeline of key dates
- Our Head of UK and EU Policy, Beth Thompson, gives evidence to the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee on the impact of Brexit on funding for research. Read the written submission [PDF 479KB].
- We publish an updated Brexit and Beyond briefing [PDF 530KB], outlining our recommendations on EU-UK science and innovation post-Brexit.
- We analyse the composition of the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s technical staff [PDF 542KB] to see how future immigration reform could affect the workforce.
- We explore the impact of funding from the EU Framework Programmes in a series of case studies [PDF 30KB].
- Our Director, Jeremy Farrar, writes an opinion piece for the Observer warning of the damage to medical research from no-deal Brexit.
- We respond to the Science and Technology Committee's consultation: An immigration system that works for science and innovation [PDF 568KB]
- With 11 other organisations, we sign a joint statement [PDF 532KB] and publish a paper [PDF 482KB] on ways to improve collaboration between the European Commission and private foundations.
- We explore how to include science in the framework for a future EU-UK relationship [PDF 764KB].
- Our Head of UK and EU Policy, Beth Thompson, gives evidence to the Brexit Select Committee on a future EU-UK relationship.
- We set out our position on what the next EU Framework Programme should look like [PDF 385KB], in order to improve European research.
- We publish Building a Strong Future for European Science: Brexit and Beyond [PDF 641KB], drawing on what we learned from the Future Partnership Project.
- Alongside the Royal Society, we bring together 30 European research leaders [PDF 780KB] at Chicheley Hall. We present our Future Partnership Project consultation and evidence synthesis, and produce a joint vision for a practical and ambitious future EU-UK partnership.
- With the Intergovernmental Network for Government Science Advice, we host a roundtable event [PDF 297KB] to explore the future of EU-UK scientific and technical advice, and evidence-informed policy making.
- Alongside Science Europe, we host a private dinner in Brussels [PDF 289KB] to identify priorities for a future EU-UK partnership. The Royal Society hosts a parallel dinner in London the following day.
- In a joint statement, we back calls for the government to ensure post-Brexit immigration rules will allow the UK to continue to recruit highly trained technical staff.
- We launch the Future Partnership Project consultation [PDF 231KB] with the Royal Society, to seek views from across Europe on what a future EU-UK partnership for research and innovation should look like.
- 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.
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