London. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday hailed a new post-Brexit partnership with the European Union (EU) in the field of scientific research. It was one of the worst-hit regions after Britain’s exit (Brexit) from the 27-member economic organization four years ago. UK scientists and institutions will again be able to apply for funding from the £81 billion scheme under the new “Horizon Europe” arrangement.
“Bringing a wealth of expertise and experience onto the global stage, we have concluded an agreement that will allow UK scientists to confidently participate in the world’s largest research collaboration program – Horizon Europe,” Sunak said. “We have worked with EU partners to ensure this is the right deal for the UK, which opens up unique research opportunities and is also a fair deal for British taxpayers.”
Earlier on Wednesday Sunak and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held talks in which the two leaders agreed that the UK and EU would work together to boost their partnership. British scientists also expressed happiness over this agreement for scientific partnership. The deal is a sign of a softening of relations between the EU and its former member.
After months of negotiations, the UK government said the country was now becoming a “full associated member” of the research collaboration body. Under this, scientists can join “Horizon Europe” funding from Thursday itself and will be able to lead “Horizon” supported science projects starting in 2024. Britain is also re-engaging with the “Copernicus” programme. “Copernicus” is the Earth observation component of the European Union’s space programme.
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