To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) UK Research and Innovation and (b) the European Commission on the evaluation of UK bids for (i) ERC, (ii) MSCA, (iii) SME instrument and (iv) other Horizon 2020 funding streams which are not open to third country participation in the event that the UK leaves EU without a deal.
The Government’s priority remains agreeing a deal with the EU. A ratified deal based on the provisions set out in the proposed Withdrawal Agreement would ensure that UK participants would continue to receive EU funding from EU Programmes committed under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework for the lifetime of their projects. Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, is one such programme.
Until exit, the UK remains a Member State participant in Horizon 2020, with all the rights and responsibilities of a Member State. This means that until point of exit the UK will be eligible to bid to all aspects of Horizon 2020. We are seeking discussions with the European Commission on the details of continued UK participation in EU programmes after exit at the earliest opportunity; these discussions would need to include consideration of the implication of the UK’s change in status from a Member State to a third country if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
In a no deal scenario, the UK government has committed to fund all successful competitive UK bids to Horizon 2020 submitted before exit day. In July this guarantee was extended. The post-EU exit extension to the guarantee is a commitment to fund all successful competitive UK bids to Horizon 2020 calls open to third country participation from the date of exit until the end of 2020. Both the guarantee and extension will apply for the lifetime of qualifying projects.
We are conscious that third country participation does not extend to some Horizon 2020 calls. We continue to work with UKRI and stakeholders to identify appropriate measures that could be put in place in the period immediately after EU Exit, if necessary.