Brexit

On 31 January 2020, the UK formally left the European Union, entering a transition period that will run until 31 December 2020. This represents one of the most profound changes to the medical research sector in living memory.

Since the referendum result, the Academy has been working closely with the UK Government, EU counterparts and the wider research community to secure the best possible outcome for biomedical research from Brexit. As the UK now negotiates its future relationship with the EU, the Academy is committed to continuing this work and remaining a reliable and willing partner in the wider European research endeavour.

This must include safeguarding the people who conduct research and, importantly, the patients who benefit from advances in understanding and new treatments. It remains a high priority for the Academy to ensure that the voice of UK medical science is heard by all parties.

A selection of our activities are provided below.

The Academy has outlined our positions on Brexit in a number of published statements and letters.

Starting a new chapter for UK research

  • Immediately prior to the UK's departure from the EU, the Academy's President Professor Sir Robert Lechler took a look forward and found reasons to be hopeful.
  • The Academy also supported a statement alongside a total of 36 major domestic and European organisations asking governments and the European Commission to ensure a swift agreement on the UK’s full association to Horizon Europe before the end of 2020.

Letters to Government

  • The President wrote to the Prime Minister on 18 December 2019 outlining the Academy's priorities for the next Parliament, including association to Horizon Europe.

Correspondence with Fellows

  • The President wrote to all Fellows in January 2019 to outline the Academy's activities to ensure science and research is prioritised and protected as the UK leaves the EU.
  • In March 2018, the President wrote to all Fellows outlining the Academy's priorities for Brexit and how we are working to ensure that these are prioritised during the negotitaions. This letter is also available as a blog on out website.

Statements on the impact of a "no-deal" Brexit on medical research

  • In October 2018, the Academy published a statement on the implications of leaving the EU without a deal.
  • This was supplemented by a letter to The Times in June 2019.

Staff contacts


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