EUA: First phase of Brexit negotiations ends on positive note for universities
The European University Association (EUA) has welcomed the outcome of the first phase of the Brexit negotiations from the universities' perspective. The European Commission and the UK government had declared that they had reached an agreement on citizens’ rights after Brexit, the status of the Irish border, and the financial settlement, on 8 December 2017. The EU Heads of State and Government still need to formally agree to this on 15 December 2017. If they do, this means that the second phase of negotiations, dedicated to the future relationship between the UK and the EU after March 2019, can begin next year.
With regard to science and research, the agreement between the UK and the EC states that the UK will continue to pay according to the commitments made in the 2014-2020 EU’s financial framework, which include Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+. This means that UK universities can fully participate in both programmes until they end, even after the UK will have left the EU. Also according to the agreement, EU citizens working at universities in the UK will be able to enjoy the same rights after Brexit as they do now, as will UK citizens working at universities in the EU.
The EUA welcomes the agreement as it stresses that the UK's continued participation in EU framework programmes and Erasmus is "a cornerstone in maintaining ties between universities in the UK and the rest of Europe". The association also sees this agreement as opening the way for a smooth transition from the present programmes to the next generation of programmes for research and education. With regard to the second negotiation phase, the EUA calls on the European Council and the European Parliament to include a comprehensive agreement on academic cooperation between the EU and the UK as an explicit goal.
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