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Tuition Fees: EU Students

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 3:42 pm, 29th April 2019

Absolutely. As a Minister, I am keen to move to the next stages of the negotiations around our future partnerships—in fact I am desperate to do so. I encourage Members who voted against the deal to recognise that it is a great deal when it comes to continuing our education and science partnerships.

I attended the EU Competitiveness Council on 18 February, and I talked to EU Ministers. They recognise the world-leading position of UK universities and that the UK does disproportionately well out of scientific grants. We put £4 billion into Horizon 2020, but we get £5.7 billion back. Why would we not want to continue to participate in that?

We are moving on to Horizon Europe as the next process of the scientific partnerships. I will attend the EU Competitiveness Council on 28 May as Science Minister. I will discuss with colleagues on the margins issues such as Erasmus education partnerships and exchanges, which the deal would also have protected. I urge all hon. Members to give me the opportunity to go to Brussels and get on with the next stage of the negotiations.