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Brexit: the Erasmus and Horizon programmes debated by Lords

29 March 2019

On Monday 1 April the House of Lords debates the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee's report, Brexit: the Erasmus and Horizon programmes.

The report explores the implications of Brexit for UK participation in the EU's flagship programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, and its international mobility programme, Erasmus . The Committee concludes that participation in these programmes provides clear benefits to the UK, including funding and access to networks, connections, and opportunities to collaborate with European partners built over decades of close cooperation.

The report highlights case studies of life-changing Horizon 2020 research projects in the UK, including an international network that develops more efficient, less toxic therapies for treating childhood cancers, and a collaborative project between academia and industry undertaking ground-breaking research on a treatment for Alzheimer's. The report also finds that the Erasmus programme has been especially important in increasing opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with medical needs or disabilities, to study, work, and train abroad. Therefore, the Committee has called on the Government to preserve the close UK-EU partnership in these areas by seeking full association to future Erasmus and Horizon programmes.

If the Government is not willing or able to secure this access, the Committee believes that alternative UK funding schemes would be needed. The Committee warns, however, that it would be a formidable challenge – and risky – to try to replicate at a national level the substantial benefits of the EU's research and mobility programmes.

Speakers in the debate

Lord Jay of Ewelme, Chair of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, will open the debate on Brexit: the Erasmus and Horizon programmes and Viscount Younger of Leckie will respond on behalf of the Government.

Other Members of the House of Lords who are due to speak in the debate can be viewed on the Speakers' Lists.

Further information

Image: House of Lords 2019 / Photography by Roger Harris