Press release

Brexit White Paper: a clearer direction of travel on mobility but no time to lose, says MillionPlus

12 Jul 2018

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (12 July) commented on the government’s Brexit White Paper, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“The labour mobility proposals in the White Paper indicate a clearer direction of travel from the government but reference to researcher mobility with the EU as ‘temporary’ and without any supporting detail will not reassure many. Maintaining the UK’s world class strengths in science and research will require a comprehensive and ongoing agreement concerning the mobility of academic and research staff.  

“The UK’s proposed participation in the Erasmus+ programme, coupled with an underpinning mobility agreement for young people is to be welcomed, enabling UK and EU students continued access to the many benefits of this scheme.

“Other key concerns have gone unanswered in the White Paper, such as reciprocal agreement on university fees for EU students post-Brexit. This is a matter that should be a priority for the government, not an also-ran issue.

“With so much time already lost, it will be challenging for agreement to be reached on the final shape of Brexit in time for the European Council in October. Any delay beyond this would be deeply problematic and expose the UK to a greater risk of ‘crashing out’ of the EU in March 2019. Such an eventuality could bring hugely damaging consequences for UK universities, their staff and students.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email
  2. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  3. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  4. The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union White Paper is available here
  5. Modern universities: key facts 2018