Brexit: EU must end ‘persistent delays’ in UK access to scientific research programmes, government says | News from politics
The EU must end “persistent delays” in Britain’s access to the bloc’s post-Brexit scientific research programmes, the government demanded as it launched legal action.
The delays would have prevented Britain from accessing Horizon Europe, the EU’s main funding scheme for research and innovation, and Copernicus, the Earth observation program that provides data on climate change.
Other systems affected are the Euratom nuclear research program and access to space surveillance and detection.
said Secretary of State Liz Truss, also the Tory leader the EU “Clearly violates our agreement by repeatedly attempting to politicize vital scientific collaboration by refusing to complete access to these vital programs.”
She added: “We cannot allow this to continue. Therefore, the UK has now launched formal consultations and will do whatever is necessary to protect the scientific community.”
Ministers have written to the European Commission to start dispute settlement procedures after the UK negotiated access to a range of EU science and innovation programs as part of its post-Brexit trade deal with the EU in 2020.
However, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it was now more than 18 months and the EU had “still refused to complete UK access”, which “restricted research and development in both the UK and cause serious damage in the EU”. Member States”.
Labor accused the Tories of “starting rows with the EU to appeal to their Tory base” as Mrs Truss faces Rishi Sunak to replace Boris Johnson.
Ms Truss said: “The EU is clearly breaching our agreement by repeatedly attempting to politicize vital scientific collaboration by refusing to complete access to these vital programmes. We cannot allow this to continue.
“Therefore, the UK has now initiated formal consultations and will do whatever is necessary to protect the scientific community.”
Earlier this month, a cross-party group of peers from the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee concluded in a report that the government’s international science policy “was somewhat incoherent”.
It warned: “Association with Horizon Europe has not been secured, which risks further damaging the UK’s reputation and jeopardizing the quality of its science base.”
European Commission spokesman Daniel Ferrie said: “The Commission takes note of the UK’s request for consultation and will follow up under the applicable rules of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.”
Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said: “Both the EU and the UK need to show more flexibility, but the Conservatives’ reckless and illegal approach to the Protocol is helping to prevent Britain from becoming a member of Europe’s 80 billion The Horizon Funds program funds vital scientific innovation and research.
“Rather than continuing the pattern of starting rows with the EU to appeal to its Tory base, the next prime minister should sit down with all parties to ease tensions and find an agreement in the national interest.”
Earlier this year, the EU took legal action against the UK for failing to comply with the Northern Ireland Protocol as the government introduces legislation that threatens to overturn the post-Brexit deal.