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UK upper house releases report into EU-funded research in the event of “no-deal” Brexit

Tuesday 12 February 2019

The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee of the House of Lords (the UK’s upper chamber), has published “Brexit: the Erasmus and Horizon programmes”, which examines the implications for UK research in the event of a “no deal” scenario on 29 March 2019. The report considers immediate effects on the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes, as well as the potential effect on future collaboration in the future Horizon Europe research programme. Page 45 of the report explicitly notes the benefit to dementia research as a result of existing arrangements including developments in analyses of amyloid plaques, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), as well as Dementia Research Institute’s use of the EU’s competitive application process.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • The UK is a world leader in research with an exceptionally strong science base, which results in the UK receiving substantial amounts of funding, access to professional networks, and opportunities to connect and collaborate with European partners built over decades of cooperation.
  • The Withdrawal Agreement would ensure that UK participation in Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 could continue largely unchanged but only until the end of the current Multiannual Financial Framework period, at the end of 2020.
  • In a “no deal” scenario, the UK Government has committed to underwrite funding from Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 until the end of 2020. However, there is an urgent need for greater clarity on how this guarantee would work in practice, including who will disburse the funding and what terms and conditions will apply.
  • Significant Horizon 2020 funding streams, including the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie “Actions”, are not open to third country participation and therefore are not covered by the underwrite guarantee. The UK Government should confirm how it intends to replace this funding as soon as possible.
  • It is in the UK and the EU's mutual interest to preserve current levels of cooperation on research and innovation and educational mobility; as such, the UK should seek full participation in the Erasmus and Horizon Europe programmes as an “associated third country”.
  • If the UK Government is unable or unwilling to secure association to the forthcoming Erasmus and Horizon programmes, it will be incredibly difficult to try to replicate a similar scheme at a national level.

You can read the full report at: https://bit.ly/2DvMSMV

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