2020-01-01

A Post-Brexit Agreement for Research and Innovation

Negotiators and commentators have spent more than three years discussing the terms on which the UK will withdraw, but comparatively little attention has been paid to the future relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit at a... Read more
Negotiators and commentators have spent more than three years discussing the terms on which the UK will withdraw, but comparatively little attention has been paid to the future relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit at a sectoral level. Withdrawing is merely the first stage of the process, and the UK and the EU will soon begin to think about negotiating a new relationship and decide which issues to prioritise. The UK and the EU have a rich history of scientific cooperation. Together, European countries have created a world-leading location for research and innovation. Six of the world’s top 20 universities are in the European Research Area (ERA), and Europe produces a third of the world’s scientific publications with just 7% of the global population. EU-UK cooperation is key to this success: 60% of the UK’s internationally co-authored papers are with EU partners.5 Thirteen of the UK’s top 20 ‘most collaborated with’ countries are EU Member States.6 Cooperation with the EU is also associated with exceptional performance. Collectively, University College London (UCL), Imperial College London, Oxford University and Cambridge University publish about one-quarter of the UK’s research output, and their collaboration with EU partners is greater than for UK universities overall, at 35% of the total publications in 2016 (compared to a UK average of 31%).7 The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was shared between Peter Higgs, a British researcher, and François Englert, a Belgian researcher, whose fundamental work was confirmed through experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Science is important for the future prosperity of the EU, the UK and Europe as a whole. Read less
Emilia-Romagna ( Global)
2020s
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Beth Thompson for UK Delegation (Brexit Simulation)

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Cooperation on Research and Innovation -  The Parties commit to establishing favourable immigration arrangements to ensure the good functioning of the European Research Area. The Parties will ensure the reciprocal right of movement and residence of individuals participating in the activities covered by this... Read more

Cooperation on Research and Innovation -  The Parties commit to establishing favourable immigration arrangements to ensure the good functioning of the European Research Area. The Parties will ensure the reciprocal right of movement and residence of individuals participating in the activities covered by this Agreement, along with their direct family members. Direct family members of those individuals will be granted the right to work.

While preserving regulatory autonomy, the Parties will put in place provisions to promote regulatory approaches that are transparent, efficient, promote avoidance of unnecessary barriers to scientific collaboration and are compatible to the extent possible.

A dedicated data protection arrangement will be put in place to ensure both Parties maintain equivalent levels of protection of personal data during activities carried out under this agreement. The agreement will provide a framework for registered organisations in the United Kingdom to benefit from an adequacy determination by the European Commission. It will ensure the safe flow of personal data between those registered organisations and the European Union, without being subject to any further safeguards or authorisations. Adequacy determinations will be regularly monitored by the Commission. This provision will become redundant should an overarching adequacy decision covering the United Kingdom be adopted. 

Provisions to meet this agreement must be implemented by both Parties within one year of this agreement entering into force. Failure to do so will see this agreement void. This deadline can be extended with the written consent of both Parties. The implementation of these provisions will be monitored by the Joint Committee established in Article 16. 

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January 22, 2020

Pursuing a standalone research and innovation agreement which included association to the Framework Programmes would be unprecedented.  Every country that is associated to Horizon 2020 has a pre-existing broader arrangement in place with the EU. These arrangements can include a broader association agreement, a free-trade... Read more

January 22, 2020

Pursuing a standalone research and innovation agreement which included association to the Framework Programmes would be unprecedented.  Every country that is associated to Horizon 2020 has a pre-existing broader arrangement in place with the EU. These arrangements can include a broader association agreement, a free-trade agreement, or other bilateral international agreements that provide the legal, economic and political framework within which cooperation on research and innovation can be incorporated.

Our analysis is that the best way to minimise disruption is by negotiating a standalone agreement as soon as possible, regardless of ongoing Brexit uncertainty elsewhere.

The unique circumstances of Brexit, the limited time available, and the significance of research and innovation to both parties, justifies exploration of this route. A discontinuity in EU-UK cooperation though the Framework Programmes would damage research and innovation on both sides of the Channel. With no easy options available, unprecedented steps will need to be considered.

The EU does have standalone research and innovation agreements with third countries, but an EU-UK agreement will need to be more ambitious than these and include association to Horizon Europe.

Scientific cooperation agreements have long been used  to symbolise improving political relations and are often the first bilateral agreements after a conflict between nations. The universality of science can provide inspiration for the wider negotiations if a suitable standalone agreement can be developed.  


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January 22, 2020

Terms and conditions of participation in the Programme - The United Kingdom shall have access to all pillars and horizontal programmes under the framework, unless specified in the work programme in accordance with [Article 18.5 of the regulation to establish Horizon Europe]. Should any limitations on United Kingdom participation in... Read more

January 22, 2020

Terms and conditions of participation in the Programme - The United Kingdom shall have access to all pillars and horizontal programmes under the framework, unless specified in the work programme in accordance with [Article 18.5 of the regulation to establish Horizon Europe]. Should any limitations on United Kingdom participation in specific work programmes be introduced under [Article 18.5], the Joint Committee established by Article 16 of this agreement must be notified at least six months in advance of the limitation coming into force.

The United Kingdom shall participate in the activities of the Programme in conformity with the objectives, criteria and procedures defined in the regulation establishing Horizon Europe, including delegated acts and any other subsequent rules, and any other rule pertaining to the implementation of the Programme.  

Eligible United Kingdom entities shall participate in direct actions of the Joint Research Centre and in indirect actions of the Programme under the same conditions as those applicable to legal entities of Member States of the European Union.

 In relation to eligible United Kingdom entities, the terms and conditions applicable for the evaluation of proposals and those for the conclusion of grant agreements and the notification of grant decisions shall be the same as those applicable for grant agreements and grant decisions in respect of research entities in the Union.

Representatives of the United Kingdom shall participate as observers in all the European Commission committees which assist the Commission in the management, development and implementation of the activities of the Programme. These committees shall meet without the presence of the representatives of the United Kingdom at the time of voting. The United Kingdom will be informed of the result. Participation as referred to in this paragraph shall take the same form, including procedures for receipt of information and documentation, as that applicable to representatives from Member States of the European Union.

Representatives of the United Kingdom shall participate as observers in the Board of Governors of the Joint Research Centre. Participation as referred to in this paragraph shall take the same form, including procedures for receipt of information and documentation, as that applicable to representatives from Member States of the European Union.

Travel costs and subsistence costs incurred by representatives and experts of the United Kingdom for the purposes of taking part as observers in the work of the committees referred to in Articles 6 and 7, or other meetings related to the implementation of the Programme, shall be reimbursed by the Commission on the same basis as and in accordance with the procedures currently in force for representatives of the Member States.

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Supporting info

Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development - CCSDD

- Facebook

Our Work: Brexit and the EU

- Wellcome Trust

EU-Israel Association Agreement

- European Union

Horizon Europe

- European Commission


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