British Council issues Brexit guidance

Nicola Sullivan, 07.07.2017
Brexit recommendations endorsed by institutions from 30 European countries
The British Council is seeking endorsements for its recommendations on Brexit, which address education, culture and science.

Among the organisations supporting its recommendations on residency rights for EU nationals, ease of movement, EU-funded programmes and intellectual property are: the Creative Industries Federation; London’s British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum; the National Gallery Prague, the European Cultural Foundation and CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.
 
Ciarán Devane, the chief executive of the British Council, said: “There is strong will across Europe for continued close collaboration in arts and culture, science and research, skills and education to the mutual benefit of all countries involved.

“As individuals we all invest in our friendships, so we must invest in our European friendships. We cannot take them for granted. These recommendations shore up the fields that will underpin our current societies and future relationships with the continent and may ease fractious relationships as the politics of Brexit proceed.

“By accepting these recommendations the UK and the 27 EU countries can prove they value good relationships and strengthened cultural ties with neighbouring countries.”

Alistair Brown, the policy officer at the Museums Association, said: “We have huge concerns about the possible negative impacts of Brexit on museum staff, audiences and the sector’s ability to share collections and expertise across the continent.

“It’s important that we work together across different sectors and with our European partners to make the case for the best possible Brexit deal as negotiations start in earnest.”

The British Council is calling for EU and UK leaders to guarantee post-Brexit residency for EU nationals currently operating in the UK and British nationals working in other EU countries.

The government has proposed that EU nationals in the UK will have to join a register, and may be issued with identity cards. Those who have been in Britain for five or more years will be granted settled status, which will give them the same rights as British citizens. EU nationals who move to the UK before it formally leaves the EU will get a grace period to reach the five-year minimum required for residency.
 
But the UK offer on the rights of EU nationals also stipulates that they can’t bring in a spouse to live in Britain unless an £18,600 minimum income threshold is met.

The British Council wants to see a post-Brexit agreement for education, culture, science and research sectors that seeks to “enhance and facilitate” ease of movement, rather than “inhibit it”.

It also recommends the introduction of cultural and educational permits that allow people in these sectors to move easily between the UK and other EU countries.   

The council also believes leaders should engage young people in policy making around Brexit, as well as ensure they have ample opportunity to work and study abroad.  

And it wants to ensure that UK institutions have continued access to EU funded programmes, such as Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions and Creative Europe. It also wants to see the UK government continue making financial contributions to the programmes to ensure their “continued effectiveness and impact”.

The recommendations state that EU and UK leaders should continue to cooperate over UK-EU intellectual property issues and regulation, which allows cultural, scientific and education bodies in the UK and in EU countries to capitalise on ideas and talent. The British Council says that standards and recognition of professional qualifications between the UK and the EU should be maintained in the fields of education, culture, science and research.

And it wants leaders to work with representatives from the education, culture and science sectors in the UK and Europe throughout the Brexit negotiations.

Comments

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Anonymous
09.07.2017, 12:41
In relation to the minimum income threshold, the London Living Wage is only just more than the threshold at £19,012, the UK Living Wage is under at £16,477.50, the Government's Living Wage is £14,625 per year. Either way your spouse wouldn't be moving here for an improved standard of living!