Britain Shuns EU Bid To Make London Pay £15B For Science Project
Britain may have a "better" alternative to the EU's key research and innovation project the UK was banned entry from until Brexit disputes get resolved, Jacob Paul reported for the Daily Express.
Photo Insert: Science Minister George Freeman
Horizon Europe is the £80-billion pool of funding to which European scientists and institutions have access. Britain had planned to join as part of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), contributing £15 billion over seven years so the science community could access those funds and help form long-term fellowships and international industrial collaborations for UK universities and researchers.
But the UK has had its formal association delayed until it resolves the Northern Ireland protocol and Brexit disputes, even though it was part of the TCA and non-EU countries are still being allowed to join.
Despite science leaders and key industry voices sounding the alarm at the serious harm the delay is causing British science, Science Minister George Freeman says the UK has a trick up its sleeve.
In an opinion piece for Research Professional News, Freeman wrote: “If the EU stands in our way, we are ready with a seamless transition to something just as good, or better.” Freeman said that instead of partnering with the EU, we could look to different partnerships to help strengthen Britain’s science sector.
He said: “In the longer term, we would establish an ambitious offer that delivers many of the advantages of Horizon association along with additional benefits of wider global participation. Partnerships with the European research community will remain at the core of our international research offer, but we are also looking to strengthen other relationships, including in the Indo-Pacific and North America.”