Scotland's place in Europe: science and research

Our latest analysis of the implications for Scotland’s science and research if the UK exits the European Union.

Scotland’s Place in European Science and Research

This paper is one of a series of policy papers flowing from the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Place in Europe publications which set out the implications of Brexit for Scotland and constructive alternatives.

The Scottish Government believes that Scotland’s future is best served by continued membership of the European Union (EU) in line with the wishes of the people of Scotland as expressed in the 2016 referendum. However, if Brexit becomes inevitable, our interests, as described by the First Minister in her speech at the Royal Society of Arts on 15 October 2018, are best protected by remaining inside the European Single Market and Customs Union.

Scotland has always been an active partner in European research and innovation programmes, including in the current programme, Horizon 2020. The impact of reduced participation in such programmes would go beyond funding. International partnerships and collaboration are a key factor in research excellence. Scotland has recognised this in its warm welcome to researchers and students from Europe and beyond.

The Scottish Government continues to engage with universities and other research organisations in Scotland to assess and plan for the impact of Brexit on science and research.

The Scottish Government’s overarching aim is to ensure that the value of Scotland’s partnerships with Europe on science and research, and the contribution that EU citizens make to science and research in Scotland, are fully recognised in the negotiations between the UK and EU. We want to see that the benefits which Scotland derives from European research and innovation programmes are maintained both in the short term and beyond.

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how important international collaboration is to science and research in Scotland, and to clarify the benefits that continued participation in European programmes such as Horizon 2020 would bring to Scotland.

This paper will help inform the evidential basis for the Scottish Government’s engagement with both the UK Government and the European Commission as negotiations on future science and research collaboration between the UK and EU continue.


Email: Pieter van de Graaf

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