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New Northern Ireland Brexit deal gives hope for Horizon association

27 Feb 2023

The new agreement between Britain and the EU on Northern Ireland has sparked hopes for improved relations and the potential of an agreement on association with EU research programmes in the near future.

Dr Daniel Rathbone, Assistant Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CasE):

“The UK’s science relationship with the EU has been on ‘ice’ for the last few years with the UK’s association to Horizon Europe stalled pending resolution of the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) negotiations. Therefore, I am thrilled that President von der Leyen said that today’s NIP agreement is ‘good news for scientists and researchers across the UK and EU’ and that work can start on association immediately, once the NIP deal is implemented. Negotiators should now press to associate the UK to Horizon Europe as soon as possible. UK and EU scientists are ready to go with collaborations and projects that will be of great benefit to people and businesses across the UK and Europe.

“There are likely to be issues to be resolved around the UKs financial contribution, because the programme is now two years old, but these are very solvable especially with renewed goodwill on both sides.”