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UK-EU Co-operation and Tutoring Agreement

Volume 697: debated on Monday 21 June 2021

What assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK-EU Cooperation and Trade Agreement on (a) higher and (b) further education. (901515)

The trade and co-operation agreement is based on co-operation between sovereign equals, centred on free trade and inspired by our shared history and values. The Department discussed the agreement with sector representatives and devolved Administrations, and we will continue to do so through bodies such as the Education Sector Advisory Group.

Thousands of EU academics have already left the UK for the EU, driven away by the UK Government’s hostile environment, the Government’s reckless cuts to funding and in-progress projects, and Brexit uncertainty, with up to 70% more per year leaving for work or study in the EU than at any time before the Brexit referendum. How will the Minister’s Government prevent an even greater brain drain to the EU from UK universities?

The hon. Member touched on a number of points, including workforce and talent within the UK in our universities. Through the introduction of the new skilled worker and global talent route, the UK is actually giving top priority to those with the highest skills and the greatest talents, including researchers, scientists and academics to join our world-leading higher education sector. The global talent route ensures that highly skilled individuals, including scientists and researchers, can come to the UK and make an important contribution.