Parliamentary oversight of negotiations

Part of Informal European Council – in the House of Commons at 7:00 pm on 6th February 2017.

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Photo of Heidi Allen Heidi Allen Conservative, South Cambridgeshire 7:00 pm, 6th February 2017

I want to speak briefly about new clauses 171, 173 and, principally, 57.

I am proud to represent my constituency, which is home to some of the most impressive academic and scientific research in the world. We attract and grow the most innovative brains, and we do that by looking outwards rather than inwards. I know that the Government have confirmed that all EU legislation will simply be transferred to UK law on the day of exit, but I feel that particular attention should be paid to planning our future academic and scientific collaborations.

New clauses 171 and 173 request reports from the Government on the future of the Erasmus+ scheme and participation in the European research area. Given that our academic and research industries are two of our greatest exports and feature heavily in the business, energy and industrial strategy, such reports should be very straightforward. We need to give clarity and reassurance to those sectors, which I know are exceptionally worried about the future. The University of Cambridge, the Babraham Institute, the Wellcome Genome Campus and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, to mention just a few institutions in my constituency, are extremely important to national prosperity, and they deserve priority in the Government’s thinking.