UK and EU flags

You will all be aware by now that the United Kingdom and the European Union signed a trade agreement earlier today (24 December), ending weeks of arduous negotiations. After a long period of continued uncertainty, we finally have some clarity on the terms of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union and the future relationship between them.

Over the past three years, working groups across the collegiate University have been assessing the impact of leaving the European Union with or without a deal. They have been making sure that the University and the Colleges are as well placed as they can be to deal with the consequences of any scenario. 

In the weeks ahead, we will communicate directly to staff and students on issues including travel, personal data and research funding, as and when necessary. Staff and students can find the very latest information from the University on our Brexit webpages, which I ask you to consult regularly for any updates.  

Cambridge colleagues will continue to engage with the government and policy-makers to seek clarity on issues where uncertainty remains. 

Looking ahead 

Today’s outcome is only the latest step in a long and complex process. While we now know the contours of the agreement, is impossible to predict exactly what the short, medium and long-term implications of this form of Brexit will be. 

I am in no doubt that Cambridge will be able to adapt successfully to the new realities. Even as it does, I am determined that we look forward and continue to build on the decades of openness, collaboration and cross-border academic inquiry that have allowed us – working alongside our European partners – to create knowledge and tackle global challenges.  

The collegiate University’s leadership is determined that the UK’s departure from the European Union will not deter us from remaining an open and welcoming University, or erase long-standing bonds of collaboration and friendship.  

It is now up to institutions like ours to help shape our future relationship with our European and global partners. We have every intention of doing so. 

We will continue to work alongside our valued European partners. We will continue to build collaborations with organisations and Universities across the continent that share our aspirations and values. And we will continue to reach out to friends around the world – from Munich to Nanjing, from Paris to Delhi – to show through our actions that we are a global university.  

Professor Stephen J Toope 

Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge

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