Brexit and the Cambridge UCU

Whilst we are pretty certain that the majority of our members are opposed to the UK leaving the EU, our efforts are focussed on trying to reduce any detrimental impacts of a probable future departure of the UK from the EU, rather than on trying to reverse the result of the national referendum.

We firmly believe that those EU nationals currently employed by the University, and their families, should be permitted to stay, and that there should remain free movement of students and academics to and from Europe. We recognise the danger that Brexit will result in an isolationalist, or even xenophobic, UK, but we do not regard this as inevitable, and will resist movement in such dangerous directions.

There are three very major possible impacts of Brexit on our members. One is the obvious, direct, personal impact on some members if residency or travel restrictions are introduced. Another is the impact on individuals should there be a reduction in the availability of research grants for academic staff, and of personal grants and scholarships to students and young researchers. Finally there is the wider impact should there be a net reduction in funding to the University.

The response to the referendum result from the University, and in particular the Vice Chancellor, has been re-assuring. The VC clearly has similar views to ours, and the University is doing much to assist and inform individuals, and to lobby the Government to ensure that our relationships with European institutions are not significantly damaged.

This is an area where we can work with the University both in assisting staff and in trying to promote arguments to politicians on both sides of the Channel. As can be seen from the links below, the UCU nationally has partnered with Bindmans LLP, immigration law experts, to provide immigration advice for both EEA and non-EEA nationals, and the University has hosted presentations from Eversheds LLP on immigration advice for EEA nationals.

The University too is offering assistance to any of its staff for issues such as Residence Cards, Permanent Residence cards and Citizenship applications. It offers advice, and a free application checking service. For further details please contact the University’s Compliance Team.

In January 2017, Sally Hunt, the UCU’s General Secretary, visited Cambridge to speak at a discussion hosted by the MML Faculty on the dangers of Brexit and on the importance of maintaining links with Europe. She spoke of her frequent visits to Whitehall to press Ministers and senior Civil Servants on the concerns of academia.

Doubtless the Cambridge UCU will be involved in further meetings regarding Brexit.

Useful Links

(We do not take responsibility for the advice or opinions of the University.)