To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill on the prospects of the UK's future involvement in Horizon Europe.
28 September 2022
It is disappointing that the EU has politicised scientific cooperation by inappropriately linking the UK participation in EU Programmes and the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Our preference remains association to the EU programmes as agreed under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), including Horizon Europe, and we continue to do everything we can to secure this. The EU is in breach of the agreement reached under the TCA for the UK to participate in EU programmes and these unjustified delays are causing uncertainty for our research and business communities. That is why we entered into formal consultations with the EU, which are a mechanism set out in the TCA to resolve issues between the UK and the EU. At the UK-EU Specialised Committee meeting on 22 September, which marked the end of the consultations period, the UK again request that the EU fulfil its obligation to finalise the UK’s association to EU Programmes. It is regrettable that the EU continues to decline this request. The UK government is now considering next steps. Our priority is to support the UK’s world leading R&D sector and we have already outlined potential options for doing so.