Wednesday, June 7, 2023

UK and Switzerland sign deal on scientific research amid Horizon snub

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The United Kingdom and Switzerland have signed a new deal on scientific research programmes, separate from the European Union.

Both countries have been blocked from accessing €95.5 billion of funding from the EU’s Horizon programmes amid political tensions.

The new deal help “deepen relations” in the field of scientific research, the UK government said in a statement on Thursday.

The two European countries have agreed to hold “coordinated or joint initiatives, programmes or projects”, “meetings, workshops, conferences or symposia”, and also “exchange information and documentation”.

“The two nations have 10 of the top 20 research universities in Europe,” the UK government added.

Britain has repeatedly called on the EU to allow its researchers access to European scientific research programmes under Horizon

The UK expressed regret on Thursday that “persistent delays” mean they still do not have access to Horizon, amid Brexit negotiations over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Meanwhile, relations between Brussels and Switzerland became strained last year when Swiss authorities ended years of talks on a free movement treaty.



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