Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has responded to news that the UK has reached a deal on associate membership of Horizon, the EU’s science research scheme. UK-based scientists and institutions will be able to apply for money from the £81bn fund from today.
Associate membership had been agreed as part of the Brexit trade deal when the UK formally left the EU in 2020, but the UK was excluded from the scheme for the past three years due to treaty disputes.
Mr Carmichael said:
“Rejoining Horizon is welcome news for research scientists across the UK both in terms of funding opportunities and research partnerships. It should not have taken this long but it is progress nonetheless.
“This is just a half mark back on a failing grade for the Tories. Their ideological hostility to Europe even after leaving the EU has been a drag on research and cooperation – putting their party before the country.
“The government needs to recognise that researchers have taken a serious hit during the three years it has taken to re-join the programme. Ministers have to explain what they will do to further support the research sector so that we can catch up and make the most of our membership.”