Universities: Research

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 4th December 2018.

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Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that universities have access to EU research programmes after the UK leaves the EU.

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

We have repeatedly stated our commitment to a far-reaching relationship with the EU on science and innovation. We have taken crucial first steps towards achieving this relationship by agreeing in principle the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration. Once ratified, provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement will ensure continued UK participation in existing EU Programmes for their duration. Horizon 2020 is a current EU Programme.

We have also been clear that we would like the option to associate to the next EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme, Horizon Europe. The Political Declaration represents an important milestone by explicitly providing for the inclusion of terms for UK participation in Union programmes, such as science and innovation as part of a future UK-EU agreement.

In the unlikely event of no deal, the underwrite guarantee and extension would ensure continued UK participation in Horizon 2020 post-EU Exit. In this scenario, UK entities would be eligible to participate in and lead consortia in a wide range of collaborative programmes. We are seeking to discuss the details of our continued participation as a Third Country with the European Commission.

Whilst the UK remains a Member State, we continue to play an active role in the development of EU programmes, engaging with our counterparts in the European, Commission, Council and Parliament to ensure these remain attractive to international partners.

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