Brexit update: Future Partnership Paper

Research and Innovation Development Office

Category: Research news

13 September 2017

Some of you will have heard the news that the Government has been seeking to clarify its position on a number of issues around Brexit.

To this end, a position paper was published, explaining the current UK Government stance on a future relationship with the EU in science and innovation.

These publications have become known for their controversial implications, but do reflect a situation where nothing is certain and pressure is coming from several directions. The Government is pleased to acknowledge the historical successes of the UK's close relationship with the EU, creating a sense of optimism for the future. According to the United Kingdom Research Office, 'The paper stresses the UK's commitment to building on past successes and the strong history of collaborating with European partners on science and innovation through EU, pan-European and other multilateral and bilateral initiatives.' There is an implication here that the Government has realised how important it will be to engage with the successor to Horizon 2020.

A key quote from the document, highlighted by several commentators:

"Given the UK's unique relationship with European science and innovation, the UK would also like to explore forging a more ambitious and close partnership with the EU than any yet agreed between the EU and a non-EU country."

Several specific programmes and funds are mentioned in the document, but there is no proposal or commitment to contribute money in order to allow access. It is widely expected that the UK will be expected to pay around €2 billion per year to remain as involved with FP9 as it is in Horizon 2020, and around €1.3bn to continue accessing Horizon 2020 itself.

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