Scientists urge EU to allow UK access to £10bn fund

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Scientists from across Europe are urging the EU to stop ‘punishing’ scientists and end the year-long delay in letting British universities and laboratories access its flagship £10bn Horizon Europe funding programme.

A campaign by scientists is calling on the EU to get the UK admitted into the programme amid fears that Brussels is using it as a form of leverage in negotiations over the Northern Ireland protocol. 

While the EU agreed to associate membership for the UK as part of the wider Brexit trade deal it has yet to ratify the deal. If it's not passed critics argue that it will be a tragedy for science not only in the UK but for Europe as a whole.

The delay is seen as harming European scientific research and politicians have been criticised for using participation in Horizon Europe as a bargaining chip. 

Scientific collaboration is critical and has been responsible for success in a wide variety of areas. Without an agreement the Horizon budget will be lower, there will be fewer opportunities and talent will be lost, according to critics of the delay. 

Scientists have warned that a decade of cooperation is at risk at a time when global challenges require enhanced, not reduced, international research cooperation.