UK initiates dispute proceedings, calling for exclusion of EU scientific research |  Sciences

UK initiates dispute proceedings, calling for exclusion of EU scientific research | Sciences

UK initiates dispute proceedings, calling for exclusion of EU scientific research |  Sciences

The UK is launching dispute proceedings with the EU, accusing it of breaching the Brexit treaty by freezing it of scientific research programs following the dispute over Northern Ireland.

EU sources said the UK was asking for “formal consultations”, the first step in the mechanism to resolve disputes over the trade and cooperation agreement.

The move by Liz Truss, the foreign secretary and Conservative leader, first reported by the Telegraph, comes after the two sides reached an impasse over the UK’s involvement in the Horizon science programme, the treaty. nuclear Euroatom and space services.

British academic scientists and researchers had 115 Horizon grants canceled in July due to the ongoing Brexit dispute over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Grants were approved for British applicants after then-Brexit Minister David Frost successfully negotiated the £80bn Horizon Europe program associate membership, but most are now cancelled. The UK was required to pay a membership fee of £15 billion over seven years to participate in the programme.

When asked about the move, a European Commission spokesman said: “The commission takes note of the UK’s request for consultation and will follow up on this in accordance with the applicable rules, as set out in the trade agreement. and cooperation”.

At a news conference on Tuesday, a spokesman for the commission said: “We continue to recognize mutual benefit and cooperation in science, research and innovation, nuclear research and space. However, it is important to remember the political context.

“There are serious difficulties in the implementation of the withdrawal agreement and the trade and cooperation agreement. The ATT does not establish a specific obligation for the EU to associate the UK with union programs at this time, nor does it set a precise deadline for doing so. We look forward to a prompt resolution.”

The first step in the dispute procedures is the initiation of talks through an association council. If this fails, then you could go to arbitration court, which could impose breach remedies if either party is found to have breached the agreement.

At the time the Horizon grants were cancelled, a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the government “has secured funding for eligible and successful Horizon Europe applicants who are expected to sign grant agreements to December 2022 and that they have been unable to sign grant agreements with the EU.”

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