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Update for staff on EU matters

18 May 2018

The University reaffirms its commitment to being a global institution


This note updates previous advice available on the university website.

Negotiations for the UK to leave the EU are ongoing and while there is some uncertainty, we hope that this update is helpful.

The University of Manchester reaffirms its commitment to being a global institution and, as stated by the President, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, following the triggering of Article 50:

“Our top priority is to support our staff, students and collaborators who are likely to be affected in different ways by the referendum outcome. It is particularly important at this time that we continue to support our current colleagues and students and welcome new ones from Europe and other continents, and show them how much they are valued.”

Since the conclusion of the first phase of Brexit negotiations new advice is available:

EU citizens rights: The UK government statement on the status of EU citizens in the UK was updated on 29 March 2018 and can be found at This reflects the Joint Report issued by the UK and the EU. In brief, this affirms that those living in the UK, or arriving before 31 December 2020 are free to live here, have access to public funds and services and go on to apply for British citizenship. Close family members will be able to join EU citizens after exit, where the relationship existed on 31 December 2020. The University will continue to press for maximum mobility for staff and students.

Horizon 2020 and FP9: A paper published in March 2018 following the Joint Report reaffirms undertakings given in UK participation in Horizon 2020 The key statement is that: “following withdrawal from the Union the UK will continue to participate in the Union programmes financed by the MFF 2014-2020 until their closure.” For Horizon 2020 it states:

“The UK Government encourages the UK research and innovation (R&I) community to continue applying for Horizon 2020 funding and participating in Horizon 2020 projects because: 

  • Until our departure from the EU, we remain a Member State, with all the rights and obligations that entails. This means that UK entities are eligible to participate in all aspects of the Horizon 2020 programme while we remain a member of the EU. 
  • The UK and the EU fully intend UK entities’ eligibility in Horizon 2020 to remain unchanged for the duration of the programme, as set out in the Joint Report. This includes eligibility to participate in all Horizon 2020 projects and to receive Horizon 2020 funding for the lifetime of projects. 
  • The Government’s underwrite guarantee remains in place in the event that commitments made in the Joint Report are not met.

For the (currently €100m) successor programme, FP9, now called Horizon Europe, both sides have expressed a general wish that the UK should participate although there have been rumours of exclusion from one or more pillars of activity. However, participation and its nature will depend on the eventual agreement reached which varies from full association to the programme, where the UK contributes and its institutions have full participation rights, to ‘Third Country’ status which is a selective ‘pay-as-you-go’ arrangement. Even full association would mean that the UK is excluded from key policy groups and would at best have observer status on programme committees. 

In the meantime, every opportunity is being taken to influence the shape of the programme, which is due to be announced on the 6th June and to stress the importance of continuing participation to the UK government. The University will continue to make representations in support of our staff and students and collaborators who are affected in different ways by the consequences of the referendum vote. These efforts include private discussions with ministers, officials, parliamentarians and associations in the UK and the rest of Europe and working to exert influence through national bodies.