In a series of briefings, the Royal Society of Edinburgh has urged the UK Government to build upon its initial offer to provide assurance and certainty that the existing rights of EU nationals in the UK will be protected.

To drive innovation and research, the RSE notes that it is crucial for the UK Government to achieve the closest possible association with the EU research system. To maintain the ability to attract EU staff and students to UK universities, the RSE believes that the UK Government should:

  • Confirm the basis upon which post-2019 cohorts of EU undergraduate and postgraduate students will be able to study in the UK.
  • Remove international students from the net migration targets to make clear that talented individuals are welcomed by the UK.
  • Work with the Scottish Government to reintroduce the post-study work visa in Scotland and ensure that UK and Scottish-based students and staff continue to benefit from exchange programmes including Erasmus+.


  • Structures should exist to enable UK-based researchers to continue to undertake collaborative research with European and international partners; including participation in the European Research Council.
  • Brexit negotiations should give priority to securing the UK’s continued participation in EU-funded research programmes; including Horizon 2020, from which Scotland receives most funding per head of population of all the UK nations.
  • The Government should seek to maintain the UK’s influential role in shaping the EU research and innovation agenda and ensuring access to and influence upon major international facilities for research and innovation.
  • Additionally, retaining overall equivalence with EU regulatory requirements is also of great importance, ensuring that regulations are adaptive to the needs of innovative technologies and proportionate to their risks.

To read more from RSE, visit their website.