Horizon 2020 funding if there’s no Brexit deal

This went up on the government webpages yesterday: Horizon 2020 funding if there’s no Brexit deal.

In a way it is comforting that someone in government thinks enough of scientific research to even mention it in the current Mayhem. The restatement of the guarantee of continued funding from the UK for current EU funded projects, even in a no-deal scenario,  is welcome.

They have even noticed that money alone doesn’t solve the issue, since UK scientists are the leaders of some projects, and so receive money from the EU and disburse to the rest of their collaboration, all over the EU and beyond. The UK isn’t going to fund all that, but if there’s no deal, the EU will stop sending the money. So this is a “no deal” contingency that needs a deal. Erm. Still, it is a time-limited problem, as the idea of the UK leading anything European belongs to an already-fast-receding golden age.

There’s some extra bureaucracy involved already, it seems, as we’re all going to have to register with some new scheme now, but then brexit always was about pointlessly reinventing lots of paperwork taking back control.

The most disturbing thing about the document is that it doesn’t mention citizens’ mobility, freedom of movement or the rights of UK scientists and their families to work in the EU and vice versa – all critical to the success of the UK within the European research area and all very personal to those concerned. But then, brexit always was about removing rights and freedoms taking back control.

Scientists for the EU will be producing a report¹ on this apparently

Of course, like me they’re biased because science benefits from our EU membership. Anyone who has actually made any use of the opportunities the EU brought over the past 40 years seems to have their interests discounted on this basis. Well, almost anyone.

¹ Update 26/8/18 The report is out now: 

and was widely reported, for example here’s a BBC article on it by David Shukman.

About Jon Butterworth

UCL Physics prof, works on LHC, writes (books, Guardian Science and elsewhere). Citizen of England, UK, Europe & Nowhere, apparently.
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