For Staff

Brexit

Map of Europe

Leeds is an international university and our aspiration to attract and welcome students and staff from across Europe and around the world is fundamental to our mission and purpose. We are working to ensure that, as Brexit progresses, EU national students and staff can continue to study and work at Leeds, with support and regular advice as the national policy picture becomes clearer. 

The UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified by both the UK Government and the European Union and adopted into UK national law. The transition period that began on 31 January 2020 ended on 31 December 2020.

The EU and UK announced new agreements on 24 December 2020. Check www.gov.uk for the latest Government updates. 

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, and executive officers of Leeds University Union wrote to all staff and students in December 2020 with an update on the Brexit situation. 

On this page:

EEA and Swiss national staff – current situation

Following our departure from the EU, there is no change to the rights of EEA and Swiss nationals who are already resident in the UK, or those who arrived before 31 December 2020. 

However, most EEA and Swiss nationals who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 and wish to continue to live and work here beyond that date will need to apply for pre-settled or settled status via the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

You will not need to apply if you:

  • have British or Irish citizenship (including dual citizenship);
  • have indefinite leave to remain in the UK, although you can choose to swap this for settled status, which will allow you to spend longer outside the UK without losing your status; or
  • have indefinite leave to enter the UK, for example if you have a Returning Resident Visa.

You will need to apply even if you have Permanent Residence; your permanent residence document is not valid after 31 December 2020.  

Applications to the scheme are free. You’ll need to start by downloading the EU Exit ID Document Check app (currently available for Android phones and iPhone 7 and above) to scan your biometric passport or, if you’re a non-EEA/Swiss family member of an EEA/Swiss national, your biometric ID card. If you don’t have a biometric document, you can send your passport or other identity documents to the Home Office by post.

Find out more about the application process on the government webpage, Continuing to live in the UK after it leaves the EU.

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Events, resources and support

If you have questions about the EU Settlement Scheme or, if you are a new member of staff and have questions about the new immigration system, you can contact immigration@leeds.ac.uk

Our International Staff pages on the HR website hold details of all the support available for international colleagues working at the University. The information covers life in the UK, buddy schemes and immigration.

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Travel

Please note: due to the covid-19 pandemic, significant restrictions relating to travel are in place – for the latest guidance, visit the staff travel advice section of the coronavirus website. There is also a page of visa and travel guidance for students and postgraduate researchers

If you’re travelling overseas, please read the following advice:

  • Passports: Visit GOV.UK to check your passport meets the new rules that apply. In particular, on the day you travel, you'll need your passport to both a) have six months left on it and b) be less than 10 years old.
  • Driving licences: As long as you have a full UK driving licence, you don’t currently need an additional licence to drive in the EU. Some UK travellers looking to drive in the EU may need to apply for the relevant International Driving Permit. Read more on GOV.UK

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Research funding – current situation

Following the Brexit deal agreed in December 2020, it is hoped the UK will continue to be associated with Horizon Europe, subject to ratification of the overall deal and finalisation of the Horizon Europe Programme regulations. 

Draft Protocol I of the Joint Declaration on Participation in Union Programmes and Access to Programme Services states that the UK will be permitted full participation in Horizon Europe and also states that the UK may participate in Joint Research Centre (JRC) activities, European Partnerships in the form of Article 185 and 187 (Joint Programming), the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), ERICs (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) and the European Research Area Committee (ERAC). 

The UK has also reached agreement with the EU to associate to the next Euratom Research and Training (R&T) Programme 2021-2025. This agreement includes UK participation in the ITER fusion collaboration through membership of Fusion for Energy. 

The only part of Horizon Europe not accessible is the European Innovation Council Fund, which falls under the EIC Accelerator programme (formerly the SME Instrument) and provides financial support to SMEs through the European Investment Bank. Please note that various reports are misleading and sound like there is no access to Pillar 3 (see below), but it is just this specific fund within it. 

Although Friday 1 January 2020 was meant to be the first day of Horizon Europe, we are still awaiting the finalisation of the Programme regulations. As a result, no calls have been released officially and no deadlines confirmed, but we will update these pages when this changes. 

Next steps 

Once Horizon Europe is formally established and the Brexit deal ratified on all sides, there will be a formal process between the UK and the EU to conclude the association agreement. This will establish the UK's relationship to the programme legally. 

Contact the EU Team for any clarifications, and visit the Research and Innovation Service’s events page for EU funding webinars in January that will provide regular updates. 

You may also find the following online resources helpful:

  • UK Research and Innovation website on UK Participation in Horizon 2020 the EU's Flagship Science and Innovation Programme; and
  • UK Research Office (UKRO, Brussels) Brexit factsheet.

Although Brexit will ultimately change the structural relationship between the EU and the UK, collaboration with our European partners will remain a priority as described in the BEIS R+D Roadmap.

Information about the UK’s access to EU Funding through Horizon Europe (the next funding programme running from 2021-27) will be available on the RIS Impact on EU Research Funding website as this becomes known, although any process of association cannot be commenced until the programme is legally established which, due to the pandemic, will be in late 2020/early 2021.

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Erasmus+ 

The UK has left the EU and the withdrawal agreement has been ratified by both the UK Government and the EU, which technically allows the University to fund Erasmus teaching and training visits in the 2020/21 academic year and possibly into the 2021/22 academic year. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the University is not accepting applications for Erasmus+ funded teaching or training visits until further notice. Further information about the scheme can be found on the Student Education Service website.

 
Successor programme – post 2020
 
The current Erasmus+ programme ended on 31 December 2020, and will be succeeded by the Government’s recently announced Turing Scheme running across a seven-year cycle. The proposal for the successor programme outlines some important innovations that would make it more accessible to a more diverse community of learners and beneficiaries. It also features a pathway for participation for 'third' countries, which could include the UK once we leave the EU.
 
 

EU national students – current situation

A section of the University’s main website is dedicated to informing current and prospective students on issues affecting them. 

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Useful links and future updates

Future updates

We’re committed to ensuring that EU national colleagues are kept up to date on developments directly affecting them – to hear the latest:

While the University endeavours to keep the information on our websites as up to date as possible, it cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies. For the latest information from the government visit the transition period web pages on GOV.UK

Regularly updated Brexit FAQs for universities and students are available on the Universities UK website.

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Updates

Brexit – a message from the Vice-Chancellor and Leeds University Union

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk and Leeds University Union have written to all staff and students outlining what Brexit means for our community.

One-to-one immigration solicitor appointments

All international staff can book a 30-minute one-to-one meeting with Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors.

Brexit information sessions and one-to-one meetings

Hosted by Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors, information sessions on Brexit and one-to-one meetings offering legal advice are now available to book.

Presentation from Brexit information session

The presentation given by Emma Brooksbank, partner and immigration specialist at Freeths Solicitors, at the 14 November information session is now available to download.

Brexit: a joint message from the University and LUU

It is now seven months since the University and Leeds University Union sent a joint message to staff and students in expectation of an imminent departure from the EU.

EU settlement scheme app available on iPhone

If you’re applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, the EU Exit: ID Document Check app is now available for iPhone 7, 7 plus, 8 and newer models.

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