- UK to Rejoin EU’s Horizon Science Program After Brexit Hiatus
- Final Agreement Expected Soon, Awaiting Confirmation from Prime Minister
- Funding Amount and Terms Still Under Discussion Between UK and EU
After approving the pact, Mr. Sunak will likely discuss it with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen within hours.
The sums involved fuelled concerns that the UK-EU accord could stall.
Mr. Sunak has approved the agreement in principle and will likely contact the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, within hours to finalize it.
Horizon involves Europe’s premier scientific institutes and tech companies and merit-based EU funding.
However, optimism was rekindled following the successful negotiation of the Windsor Framework. As Ms. von der Leyen expressed her eagerness to see UK and EU researchers collaborate once more.
“I’m delighted to start an association agreement, a Horizon Europe requirement, right away once it’s implemented. So this is great news for everyone working in research and science,” she stated at the time.
The amount of compensation owed to the United Kingdom for its non-participation in the scheme is still a concern.
The European Commission president will likely be consulted before any statement.
Mr. Sunak told MPs on Wednesday during the prime minister’s questions that his “priority and preference” was to associate with Horizon “on terms that are right for both the British taxpayer and for British science and research.”
Whitehall sources reported in July that a preliminary agreement had been submitted to the prime minister, but Downing Street stated that a UK-based alternative known as Pioneer remained an option because Mr. Sunak was concerned about “value for money.”
James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, stated, “The scientific community in the United Kingdom will be reassured and inspired by this decision”.
Applaud the prime minister. “Our public welfare depends on improving the UK’s scientific reputation.”
Greg Clark, chair of the Commons Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee and a member of the Conservative Party, stated, “If the news of the UK’s return to Horizon Europe is accurate, it will be a welcome boost for both UK and EU science.
“British science always contributes significantly to international partnerships. Everyone benefits when outstanding British researchers collaborate with others to advance knowledge.”