Following the UK’s Brexit referendum, EFC member, Wellcome Trust has reached out to thank people for supporting progress towards a positive outcome in negotiations, and to ask for your help in stressing the importance of research partnerships between the EU and the UK. 

Wellcome Trust announced that they would be working towards new research partnerships between the UK and EU and called for participants in voicing their views and experience in order to help them to build a framework (read more here), and in relation to these partnerships, the Brexit process is hugely important in ensuring its success. 

In recent developments, the UK Government outlined its initial offer for a future research partnership between the EU and the UK. This included the Prime Minister’s statement on full association to Horizon Europe, in return for a fair contribution to its cost and, where relevant, respect for the European Court of Justice’s remit. This position echos the European Commission’s LAB – FAB – APP report which called UK participation in research a ‘win-win’. It also reflects many of the points the Wellcome Trust made in their recent report ‘Building a Strong Future for European Research: Brexit and Beyond’, and as such they welcome these developments and thank anyone who contributed to this work. 

Following this proposal and initial offer from the UK, Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome Trust, has stressed the importance of encouraging a positive and constructive response from the UE27 and the Article 50 Taskforce. The research community must hold decision-makers to account for what is decided in the coming months as science and innovation is crucial in keeping Europe involved in the search for solutions to global challenges.

”In the face of worrying new epidemics, antimicrobial resistance or climate change, we cannot afford to build barriers that prevent us from working together” and it important that this message is shared. 

Mr Farrar calls for us to use our voice and reach out to our connections and contacts to make the case for the value and importance for international partnerships that ultimately reflect the best interests of science and society in Europe and globally.