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Statement about UK referendum on the EU

Dear Colleagues,

Many people have expressed their concerns about the consequences of the 23 June vote in the UK for CERN, and for the UK’s relationship with CERN. CERN is an intergovernmental organisation subject to its own treaty. We are not part of the European Union, and several of our Member States, including Switzerland, in which we are headquartered, are not EU Members. Britain’s membership of CERN is not affected by the UK electorate’s vote to leave the European Union. We look forward to continuing the very constructive relationship we have shared with the UK, one of our founding members, long into the future.

CERN was founded on the principle of international collaboration, and our success over the years is built on that. We will continue to work proactively to encourage ever-greater international collaboration in particle physics, and to help ensure that the UK continues to play a very active role.

UK nationals remain eligible for all categories of employment at CERN, and UK businesses are eligible to bid for all contracts at CERN. The referendum result does not change anything for CERN employees, but employees of UK companies working under contract to CERN may have extra administrative procedures to follow than their EU counterparts before they can work at CERN.

CERN has its own agreements with its host states allowing CERN personnel to reside in either country. These agreements also allow spouses of CERN personnel to work in France and Switzerland under certain conditions. CERN personnel also have the right to retire in France and Switzerland under certain conditions. For non-EU countries, these conditions are more stringent than they are for EU countries.

CERN’s core research programme is funded by our Member States, but we also benefit from many EU grants in areas ranging from IT to accelerator and detector development. The referendum result does not affect CERN’s relationship with the EU, so we continue to be eligible to apply for Framework programme funding. CERN Member States that are not EU Members, and do not have special arrangements with the EU, can participate in CERN-EU projects, but can not lead them, or receive EU funding.

As long as CERN is in receipt of EU funding to support Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows, UK nationals will be able to apply for such Fellowships at CERN.

Kind regards,

Fabiola Gianotti