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Arts, education and science leaders link up in fight for soft Brexit

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Leaders in the fields of arts and culture, education, science and research have joined together in a bid to secure the futures of their sectors after Brexit.

Demands include securing residency rights for EU nationals in the UK and vice versa, and continued access to Creative Europe funding.

A set of recommendations, put to Brexit negotiators on both sides and facilitated by the British Council, was created following a consultation of more than 500 leaders across the arts, science and education sectors.

It has received backing from institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate, Culture Action Europe and the Creative Industries Federation’s John Kampfner.

The recommendations have also been endorsed by figures including scientist Brian Cox, artist Mark Wallinger and architect David Chipperfield.

The recommendations include:

  • Ensuring those in the education, culture and science sectors remain able to move easily between the UK and other EU countries, possibly in the form of a cheap and easy-to-obtain ‘culture and education permit’
  • Guaranteeing residency rights for EU nationals working in the UK and vice versa
  • Continued UK participation in and contribution to schemes such as Creative Europe
  • Allowing young people in the UK and other EU countries international experiences through study, work performance and research

British Council chief executive Ciaran Devane said there was a “strong will” across Europe for continued close collaboration in sectors such as the arts, science and education.

“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,” he said.

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