EU PANIC – UK planning to set up its own £15 Billion science research programme leaving the EU’s Horiszon Europe, Copemicus and Euratom.


After the EU postponed Britain’s accession, the UK is preparing to abandon important EU research initiatives and set up its own, costing the union £15 billion.

According to a leaked government paper, Britain is contemplating leaving Horizon Europe, Copernicus, and Euratom.

Projects funded by the UK include the EU’s science-research-development-satellite- and nuclear programmes. It committed to staying when it signed the Brexit agreement last year.

According to the letter, officials think Brussels delayed Britain’s access to gain power in Brexit discussions. Also, the Northern Ireland Protocol has increased tensions.

Vice-President Maros Sefcovic warned last week that invoking Article 16 “would have serious consequences.”

As provided forth in Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, if the EU or UK determines the agreement would pose substantial practical issues or “diversion of trade”.

After months of back-and-forth, the UK has blasted the EU for not giving enough.

The number of customs inspections, medication red tape, and pet mobility between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are all contentious.

The insider stated: “We’ve always said that we’ll use Article 16 if solutions can’t be found. But people need to understand that we’re taking these talks seriously, and we mean it when we say that we want a negotiated outcome.”

As tensions rise, ministers are reported to be working on ways to prevent the European Commission from retaliating.

A “Discovery Fund” is being developed by Brexit Minister Lord Frost and Business Secretary Kawsi Kwarteng to replace research programmes Brussels has blocked Britain from joining.

The UK would pay £2.1 billion yearly to Horizon Europe, allowing British scientists and researchers to access a wide range of European scientific initiatives and financing.

The EU halted its admission into the £80 billion project due to the Northern Ireland Protocol problem.

A high-ranking official remarked, “Blocking the UK from joining Horizon is in no one’s interest – we can’t participate, and they lose out our financial contribution.

“We’re having to look at alternatives in case the EU does block our access, which would be a breach of what we agreed less than a year ago.”

It also gained access to the Copernicus Earth observation project, a major boost for the UK space industry, and a pact to remain in the Euratom nuclear research programme.

And Britain’s involvement into all of these advancements was hindered, as were research and financing prospects.

But Lord Frost and Mr Kwarteng’s Discovery Fund may challenge Horizon Europe.

There are proposals for a goal date of early 2022 and conversations about funding domestic projects with money from EU programmes.

Even if “programme benefits cannot be fully replicated in domestic alternatives”, ministers want work to begin.

Not participating “would impact the ambition to become a science superpower”, it warned.