The United Kingdom (UK) has left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 at midnight and is no longer a Member State of the EU. A transition period is in force since this date until 31 December 2020. Until then, it is business as usual for citizens, consumers, businesses, investors, students and researchers in both the EU and the UK. The United Kingdom is no longer represented in the EU institutions, agencies, bodies and offices but EU law still applies in the UK until the end of the transition period.
The conditions for the transition period are fixed in the Withdrawal Agreement.
In the course of the next months a new partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom will be negotiated on the basis of the Political Declaration on the future relationship agreed in October 2019. The corresponding negotiations have started in March 2020.
Consequences of Brexit for the Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation
Based on the Withdrawal Agreement UK organisations and researchers can continue to participate in all EU programmes under the current EU budget (the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework, MFF) and continue to receive funding in projects for the lifetime of the respective grants.
- UK organisations remain fully eligible to participate in and receive funding from current and future projects in Horizon 2020 as partner or coordinator.
- This also applies to projects with a duration beyond the end of the transition period for all funding lines in Horizon 2020.
- A very limited number of Horizon 2020 projects with UK participation, which involve access to security-related sensitive information restricted for EU Member States, may be unable to continue in their current form. The UK government and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have made provisions for these projects. Any affected UK grant holders should contact UKRI at EUGrantsFunding@ukri.org
- Erasmus+: The UK continues to participate in all funding lines until the closure of the programme.
The participation of the UK in the future Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe (2021-2027), is part of the negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. As long as there is no agreement on the association of the United Kingdom to Horizon Europe it will have the status of a “Third country”. UK organisations and researchers would be able to participate in certain funding lines of the Framework Programme subject to the corresponding rules but would not receive funding from the programme in most cases.
New UK initiative: Global Talent Visa
On 20 February 2020, the UK has introduced the immigration category Global Talent Visa to give talented and promising individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK easier access to the UK labour market. This also allows non-UK researchers to take up positions at academic and research organisations in the UK and might therefore be relevant in the context of EU-funded initiatives. Further information can be found here.
The website of the Brussels-based UK Research Office (UKRO) offers all relevant and up-to-date information on the participation of the UK in the EU programmes for research, innovation and higher education and the office can be contacted in case of individual questions.