Following discussions with colleagues at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has condemned suggestions that the UK’s science and research collaboration arrangements may be significantly diluted post-Brexit, despite the optimistic noises from the Prime Minister last week that she would be seeking to maintain the provisions in the ongoingnegotiations. Mr Zeichner has stated that a deal limiting the UK’s access to EU funding streams would be “unforgivable” for the science and research sectors, many which are based in and around his constituency of Cambridge.
This news comes following the leaking of an EU document detailing the funding access of ‘third countries’ for Horizon Europe, the name given to EU Framework Programme 9. The document has indicated that the UK will be required to make increased contributions to the funding programme, beyond that of other third countries associated with the programme, if it is to be a benefactor.
Mr Zeichner said: “I am extremely worried by the prospect that the UK may have reduced access to science and research funding, despite Theresa May stating last week that she would be negotiating a deal on the basis that we want to maintain our current arrangements, even if that was to come at a cost. All the way through this process the Government has been saying that they can get a good deal for Britain, but it seems they can’t negotiate something they want even with the offer to pay for it.”
“Science and research funding under Horizon 2020 has been crucial for many research and medical institutions in Cambridge and if the UK Government fails to negotiate a position that maintains that funding it will be unforgiveable.“
“When is this Government going to wake up and recognise that if we pursue a hard Brexit that excludes us from the Single Market and the European Economic Area, there will be severe consequences for the research and medical institutions that contribute so greatly to our economy. Losing access to opportunities for science and research collaboration will hurt us all, not just Cambridge.”
Details of ‘Horizon Europe’ will be published on Thursday 7 June, which will include the UK’s proposed status.