The Photonics Leadership Group welcomes finalisation of the post Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK. The full agreement and accompanying annexes includes a number of measures welcomed by the photonics industry including:-
- The UK will be full associate members of the next Horizon Europe collaborative research and development funding framework once this is fully adopted by the EU.
- “The United Kingdom shall participate as an associated country in all parts of the Horizon Europe programme”
- The UK will also join a range of other Eu programmes including Euratom, European Space Agency (ESA) inc Copernicus, European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Joint Research Centre and European Research Infrastructure Consortium.
- GDPR equivalence, is confirmed, apparently avoiding the need for ‘Standard Contractual Clauses’ covering transfer of personal data from EU to UK.
- “For the duration of the specified period, transmission of personal data from the Union to the United Kingdom shall not be considered as transfer to a third country under Union law“
- Visa free Short-term business travel appears to be confirmed for most activities relevant to photonics.
- “Short-term business visitors are permitted to engage in are… attending meetings or conferences, or engaged in consultations with business associates….research and design: technical, scientific and statistical researchers….personnel attending a trade fair…representatives of a supplier of services or goods taking orders or negotiating the sale of services or goods… buyers purchasing goods or services”
- Allowance for the provision of ‘Engineering services and integrated engineering services‘ and research and development services‘, as an independent professional or as a contracted organisations is also detailed in depth
- In both cases note there are some exceptions/ additional conditions / further time constraints for some counties
- e.g. Austria with require “Work permit, including economic needs test, required for activities beyond seven days in a month” for Trade fairs and exhibitions”.
Overall the agreement appears to provide a sound basis for continued strong collaboration and trade between Europe and the UK in all aspects of photonics and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our many friends, colleagues, customers and suppliers from across Europe.