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Brexit update

20 Dec 2019

Advice for staff regarding UK’s expected withdrawal from the EU following the Conservative Party’s success in the General Election

Following the Conservative Party’s success in the General Election last week, it is now almost certain that the UK will leave the European Union on 1 February 2020. The Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill will be re-introduced into the House of Commons on Friday, 20 December, and a second reading is scheduled for next week.  Once the Withdrawal Agreement has been passed, the UK will withdraw on the first day of the month following ratification, after which the UK will enter a transitional period with the EU which will last until the end of 2020. 

The Withdrawal Agreement will ensure that:

  • The UK continues to contribute to the EU budget for the remainder of 2020, meaning that the UK will participate fully in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ for this period.
  • Calls and projects under the Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ programmes which run past the date of 31 December 2020 will also be covered by the UK’s contribution to the EU budget.
  • UK-based researchers can therefore participate fully in all Horizon 2020 calls issued by 31 December 2020, with any successful grants covered in full (via the EU budget) for the duration of the project. The European Commission will continue to make payments to UK recipients so that UKRI no-deal funding mechanisms will not be required for this period.
  • EU nationals who already live in the UK, or who arrive by 31 December 2020, will be able to apply for the Settlement Scheme until the 30 June 2021. Those arriving on and after 1 January 2021 will fall under the government’s new immigration system.

Universities UK (UUK) and Universities UK International (UUKi) have put together a briefing on what the UK government should prioritise in any future UK-EU relationship for higher education and research.

Any questions please email: