UK scientists could leave EU projects

UK scientists could leave EU projects

The European Commission has clarified how it will handle its scientific relationship with the UK after the country leaves the bloc in 2019.

The commission has also made clear the position of UK grantees after Brexit, a signal showing how the EU could proceed should the UK to leave without successful negotiations.

In a notice posted on the research section of the commission website, UK researchers are informed that if the UK does not agree on a new science co-operation arrangement with Brussels, they will not receive any more EU funding.

The notice says: ‘If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to be eligible to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project.’

The note also confirms the eligibility of UK legal entities to participate and receive funding from the Horizon 2020 research programme while the UK remains a member state.

Mike Galsworthy, founder of the research advocacy group Scientists for EU, said the notice “will cause immediate uncertainty from UK applicants, and from applicants who were thinking of including UK partners.”

Whether the UK will continue to pay into Horizon 2020 after it leaves the EU is part of the negotiations.