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Calls for backup Brexit deal rise

A ‘research only’ deal between the UK and the EU could provide a backstop if the two parties fail to reach a broader agreement on their post-Brexit relationship, according to some senior figures.

Negotiators from the EU and UK are both refusing to back down from their incompatible demands on aspects of a deal including the Irish border, raising the chances of a no-deal exit for the UK. To prevent this worst-case scenario terminating R&D collaboration, some people have started advocating for an R&D-only deal that would allow UK-based researchers to continue participating in EU-run schemes such as its Framework R&D programme.

Such a deal would require national governments in the Council of the EU to authorise the European Commission to undertake negotiations, a Commission source told Research Europe. After negotiations had been concluded, the Commission would then propose a decision that would need to be adopted by the Council with consent from the European Parliament.

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