The UK withdrawal from the EU took effect on 1 January and six UK healthcare providers have thus ceased to be part of ERN eUROGEN. The Coordination Team has drafted a procedure for managing Brexit and sent this to the EC for comment. However, collaboration will continue with UK-based clinicians as individual experts in areas such as research and education.
Indeed, the UK will participate in the Horizon Europe programme as an associated country, subject to a final agreement once the relevant legal texts have been finalised. This means that UK-based researchers would be able to participate in all parts of Horizon Europe (with some very limited exceptions) and would be able to apply for and receive EU funding from this research and innovation programme as previously. This is a different EC programme to the EU4Health programme which was recently agreed (€5.1 billion from 2021 – 27) and will fund the pandemic response, anti-microbial resistant infections, cancer and the digital transformation of health systems (the ERNs fall under this category of funding).
There is also a new internal UK Rare Diseases Framework which aims to ensure that the lives of people living with rare diseases continue to improve across the four nations of the UK and develop positive change in the diagnosis, treatment and care for patients living with a rare disease.