Election Result and Brexit - 13 December 2019
As many of you will know, the Conservative Party won a large majority at yesterday’s general election and will form a new government with Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. The Conservative government will now move forward with its approach to Brexit, as well as its wider legislative programme.
Earlier this year the President’s Address had a clear message to decision-makers in Westminster and Brussels, as well as our partners and friends: “We will not relent in our quest to keep our doors open to students, collaborations and colleagues from around the world.” Imperial will always be a European university. Our European partners are vital to the future success of our institution and the UK as a whole.
The renegotiated Withdrawal Agreement Bill will be reintroduced to Parliament next week and will likely be approved by both the UK and EU Parliaments by the 31 January 2020 Brexit deadline. While this means the UK would have formally left the EU there will be a transition period until at least 31 December 2020. During this period, there will be no changes to UK access to EU programmes (such as Horizon 2020) and free movement will continue as it does currently while negotiations over our long-term relationship with the EU take place.
We will continue our campaign for access to European research networks and immigration reform that will allow science to thrive. This means advocating for full association to the Horizon Europe scheme, including the European Research Council and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Grants. The Conservative manifesto committed to “continue to collaborate internationally with the EU on scientific research” and we will work to ensure this remains a priority in the negotiations. This must be accompanied by an immigration system which recognises the immense contribution our EEA staff at all levels make to teaching and research across our campuses.
In the coming months, EEA staff who have not done so already should apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, which will allow any citizens resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 to seek settled (or pre-settled) status. This will allow EEA citizens to remain in the UK after our withdrawal from the EU, and after any transition period following this. More detail about the scheme can be found in our EU Settlement Scheme FAQs.
The new government has committed to significantly increase overall R&D investment to ensure the UK remains a world leader in areas like life sciences, clean energy, space, design, AI and robotics. We will work to ensure increased R&D investment supports excellence-based university research which is essential to solving global challenges.
We will continue to keep you updated on Brexit and other significant announcements. If you have any questions please get in touch with us through our dedicated email address firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage you to keep visiting our Imperial and the European Union webpages for regular updates and advice and access to our weekly Brexit Briefings and additional resources.
Alice and Ian
Professor Alice P. Gast, President
Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost