UK Challenges in Horizon Europe & Copernicus

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When it comes to Brexit, this affront to the European Union, wishful thinking decides in most editorial offices the angle of the articles and the headline.

Everything happens as if the editorial line depends on beliefs based on what is pleasant to imagine for a globalist opposed in principle to free nations, rather than on real, verifiable or rational facts. At the slightest opportunity, politicians and the mainstream media see the end of Brexit dawning. But Great Britain will never again join the European Union, Boris Johnson recalled in his Daily Mail column.

Why was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson emphasizing that instead of appearing embarrassed by Brexit, Conservatives must defend it, exploit its benefits – and explain why leaving was brave, remarkable and right?

 

Because that did not prevent the European Commission and the British government from announcing on September 7 that the United Kingdom will participate in Horizon Europe and Copernicus.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said:

“The European Union and the United Kingdom are essential strategic partners and allies, as today’s agreement demonstrates. We will continue to be at the forefront of global science and research. »

It is globally estimated that the UK will need to make an average annual contribution of almost €2.6 billion to participate in both Horizon Europe and the Copernicus component of the space programme.

The British government had previously, that is to say under Boris Johnson, negotiated its continuation in the programs concerned via the trade and cooperation agreement signed at the end of 2020. But the quarrels linked to the status of Northern Ireland had led to the suspension of the United Kingdom, the European Union, exceeding its prerogatives, having “demanded that [this] problem […] be first resolved”, recalls Radio Télévision Suisse.

London and Brussels announced that they had agreed on Great Britain’s participation in the European research program Horizon Europe and the European Earth observation program Copernicus.

The basis of the UK’s association with this program is the Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded with Boris Johnson, which came into force in 2021. It governs the new relationship between the two parties following the UK’s exit. United of the European Union.

The agreement contains a paragraph which explicitly sets out Britain’s “continued participation” in Horizon Europe. However, due to disagreements over trade arrangements in Northern Ireland, the European Commission jumped at the opportunity to refuse to negotiate the research agreement with London. At all costs, the United Kingdom’s desire for independence had to be made to pay a high price to dissuade the slightest desire for independence among the European peoples.

The regime in Brussels had its bone to gnaw, they demanded that the problem in Northern Ireland be resolved first. The Windsor Agreement, concluded on February 27 by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, finally made it possible to find a so-called solution to the question of border controls in Northern Ireland which saves face for both parties.

Among the ten best universities in Europe, seven are in the United Kingdom

Boris Johnson recalls in the Daily Mail:

“I remember in 2016 we all had a heated debate about what would happen if we left the EU. Some people were particularly concerned about the risk to the UK’s participation in Horizon – a scientific collaboration sponsored by the European Union. Brexit would be a disaster, they said, for scientific exchange. More EU-funded conferences in charming European cities; more joint articles with researchers from other European universities; more British participation in joint European breakthroughs.

I have to say I was a little skeptical about it, and I said so at the time. It did not seem to me that the field of scientific effort and research was limited to the European Union. Of the ten best universities in Europe, seven are in the United Kingdom, one in Switzerland and only two in the European Union. Scientific partnerships are as global and instantaneous as the Internet. »

That being said, why would leaving the European Union have meant leaving projects like Horizon? Assuming the British wanted to stay.

Regardless, Horizon was not political. This was not part of the great hidden federalist project of the Brussels regime. The United Kingdom contributed significantly to the project, both financially and in terms of research, with British research being of a world-class standard.

“Who would be crazy enough to kick the UK out of Horizon? continues Boris Johnson. Well, it turns out that I underestimated the pettiness of our friends and partners. They decided to temporarily end the UK’s membership, even though they wanted and needed us. Now I’m delighted to say they’ve caved, and we’re back, and rightly so.

This is what we Brexiteers have always said would happen, and should happen. We said we could get the best of both worlds — leaving the European Union, but continuing with partnerships and collaborations of all kinds. QED (quod erat demonstrandum), as they say in the academic world. »

The Windsor Framework, which locks Northern Ireland into parts of the single market, effectively making it more difficult, but not impossible, for the rest of the United Kingdom to diverge from European Union law, has enabled this cooperation international scientist. The country nevertheless preferred not to return to the Euratom atomic research program. The United Kingdom will notably develop a national nuclear fusion strategy, “supported by a budget of 650 million pounds sterling [around 750 million euros] until 2027”.

On the other hand, those who imagine the United Kingdom joining the European Union should calm down a little, this would mean – under the rules of the European Union – that Great Britain would have to abandon the pound, join the euro, and abandon national control of monetary and, logically, fiscal policy.

To join the European Union, Britain would have to pay even more to Brussels than before and adhere to the goal of a federal Europe. No serious British government would accept it, as former Prime Minister Boris Johnson recalled in his Saturday column in the Daily Mail, the newspaper Churchill had chosen to speak from the United States in 1931, during his own crossing of the desert.

This article is originally published on contrepoints.org

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