Sunday, December 4, 2022

UK demands post-Brexit access to EU science programmes

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The UK’s Europe minister will today call on the European Union to reopen British access to EU scientific programmes.

London says that participation in Horizon Europe, the EU’s flagship funding programme, nuclear regulator Euratom and the Copernicus satellite monitoring group was outlined in the post-Brexit trade deal, but the UK has been excluded.

The UK government believes this delay is a breach of the post-Brexit deal.

Minister for Europe Leo Docherty will meet with EU representatives at the Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, a forum for the UK and European parliaments to exchange views on partnership and monitor the implementation of the post-Brexit trade deal.

“The UK’s participation would be a win-win for the UK and the EU, but the UK cannot wait much longer,” Docherty will say.

“The EU’s approach is causing intolerable uncertainty for our research and business communities.”

Docherty will, however, praise EU-UK cooperation over the response to the war in Ukraine.

In mid-August, the UK triggered legal action against the EU over the issue, accusing it of freezing British institutions out of the scientific research programmes due to the row over Northern Ireland. 

The current Brexit deal keeps Northern Ireland in the European Union’s single market and customs union to avoid the return of a hard border with the Republic of Ireland.

However, Britain’s Conservative government has put pressure on Brussels to revise the protocol and is passing legislation which could undermine it, a move which threatens to worsen relations with the European Union.



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