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Post Brexit EU funding guarantee – mitigating partnering risks & uncertainties

Philip Hammond, in a new move to reassure the many organisations, businesses and universities prospering under EU funding opportunities, has announced to guarantee currently funded EU research projects to be underwritten by the government beyond the date the UK leaves the EU.  

In the time Britain is transitioning in its membership status, Universities and British businesses are encouraged to carry forward with bidding for competitive EU funds, under the now increased certainty that support will be continued in the future.  

In the frame of this post-Brexit package that seeks to guarantee the future of key projects supporting economic development currently funded under EU mechanisms, fall assurances for research, all structural and investment fund projects, including agricultural schemes.  This applies for agreements that will be signed before the Autumn Statement made by the treasury, regardless if these projects run beyond UK’s departure of the Union – consideration will be given to whether projects signed after the Autumn Statement would be guaranteed.

Universities participating in large scale EU research and innovation programmes as Horizon 2020, are assured to receive continued financial support for projects also beyond UK’s departure from the EU. This move can be anticipated, in the short term to sustain continued efforts of UK universities to engage in and compete for European projects. In the long run it is to limit uncertainties and mitigate increasingly felt risk perceptions of current and potential partners across the EU.

As to the uncertainties that European students, who consider enrolment at UK universities before its exit, face in terms of potentially hefty increases in study fees -  government is yet to provide answers that will either support a surge in international student enrolment in the last stretch, or further deter the attraction of European talent.