UK rejoins Europe's Horizon research programme

The UK is rejoining the European Horizon scientific research programme, it was announced on Thursday. The country originally left the programme due to Brexit, but the two parties have reached a "tailor-made" new deal after months of negotiations.

The UK will also rejoin Copernicus, the EU's earth observation programme, but will not participate in the Euratom nuclear research programme.

"Horizon is crucial to maintain [our] technological edge," tweeted European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in response to the agreement. "Today's political agreement on the UK's participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus will strengthen science across Europe."

2.6 billion euros a year

On average, the UK will contribute around 2.6 billion euros a year to Horizon and Copernicus. According to UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, the agreement is good for UK taxpayers, who will no longer have to contribute to research programmes from which the UK has been excluded in recent years.

British scientists reacted with relief to the announcement. Many research programmes are too large to survive on national funding alone. In addition, Brexit meant that British scientists were losing their leading role in projects and caused scientists to leave the UK.



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