Higher Education: Research

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 3rd December 2018.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on research funding in universities.

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government is undertaking a wide range of analysis in support of our EU exit negotiations and preparations. Ministers have a specific responsibility, which Parliament has endorsed, not to release information that would reveal our negotiating position.

However, we know that as of the end of May 2018, the UK had the second highest number of project participations in Horizon 2020. This was 14.4% of the total share of funding, second only to Germany. This demonstrates that it is in the interests of the UK and EU for us to continue to collaborate on research and innovation. It also signals assurance from both sides that although we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe.

We have now agreed in principle the terms of the UK’s smooth and orderly exit from the EU as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. Once ratified, the provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement will ensure UK participation in EU Programmes committed under the 2014-2020 Multi-annual Financial Framework until the closure of the programme or activity. Horizon 2020 is an EU Programme committed under the 2014-2020 MFF.

The Outline Political Declaration signifies an important milestone which explicitly provides for inclusion of terms for UK participation in EU Programmes, such as science and innovation. The UK Government has made it clear to our European neighbours that we want the option to associate to excellence-based EU research & innovation funding programmes, networks and infrastructures.

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