Sat, 12 June 2021

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UK 'preparing to pay £1bn to stay in EU science programme'

UK 'preparing to pay £1bn to stay in EU science programme'
3 min read

The UK is ready to pay around £1bn to remain part of the European Union's science and research fund, Horizon 2020.


David Davis' Brexit department will set out its plans in a fresh position paper on Wednesday, the Times reports.

They may also include paying into other research programmes such as the Galileo satellite navigation system and Copernicus, the earth observation programme run in partnership with the European Space Agency.

Although it is run by the EU, the Horizon scheme does have associate agreements with countries outside the bloc such as Switzerland, Norway and Israel.

However relations between the two negotiating teams appear to be fracturing, with Mr Davis yesterday accusing EU counterpart Michel Barnier of being "silly". 

The Brexit Secretary told the Andrew Marr Show that the European Commission is refusing to begin discussions on in order to pressurise the UK into paying a hefty 'divorce bill'. 

"Of course [Mr Barnier] wants to put pressure on us, which is why the stance this week in the press conference - bluntly, I think it looked a bit silly, because there plainly were things that we achieved."

Mr Davis also urged potential Tory rebels to back the Government's EU Withdrawal Bill when it comes before the Commons this week.

First Secretary of State Damian Green has warned that backbenchers who fail to support the legislation risked letting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.

But Mr Davis said: "This bill is about ensuring continuity. Anybody - Remainer or Leaver - should support this bill."

David Davis' Brexit department will set out its plans in a fresh position paper on Wednesday, the Times reports.

They may also include paying into other research programmes such as the Galileo satellite navigation system and Copernicus, the earth observation programme run in partnership with the European Space Agency.

Although it is run by the EU, the Horizon scheme does have associate agreements with countries outside the bloc such as Switzerland, Norway and Israel.

However relations between the two negotiating teams appear to be fracturing, with Mr Davis yesterday accusing EU counterpart Michel Barnier of being "silly". 

The Brexit Secretary told the Andrew Marr Show that the European Commission is refusing to begin discussions on in order to pressurise the UK into paying a hefty 'divorce bill'.

"Of course [Mr Barnier] wants to put pressure on us, which is why the stance this week in the press conference - bluntly, I think it looked a bit silly, because there plainly were things that we achieved."

Mr Davis also urged potential Tory rebels to back the Government's EU Withdrawal Bill when it comes before the Commons this week.

First Secretary of State Damian Green has warned that backbenchers who fail to support the legislation risked letting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street.

But Mr Davis said: "This bill is about ensuring continuity. Anybody - Remainer or Leaver - should support this bill."

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