Today's government announcement that the government is guaranteeing to continue to fund UK organizations for participation in the Horizon 2020 research collaboration is a sham, declared the Liberal Democrats in Europe.
Speaking after reading the announcement, their Chair, Dr. Robert Harrison said, "on the one hand the government is threatening to leave the European Union without a deal and to refuse to pay the UK's agreed contributions, and on the other hand the government is apparently promising to fund UK participation in Horizon 2020 research projects. It's just not going to work. Research depends on long-term collaboration and partnerships. It's not just a question of throwing money at a research group - it's also about encouraging the exchange of people and information. A no-deal Brexit with restrictions on the transfer of data and uncertain immigration status, in particular for young researchers, is going to harm British science tremendously."
Harrison continued by emphasizing that it was not only UK science that was suffering. Research groups in Europe were not inviting UK groups to participate in future projects because of the uncertainty about funding. He has a Ph.D. in Engineering and works closely with and in a number of projects financed by the European Union and has seen the discussions at first hand. "Science in Europe has developed massively over the past thirty years. It has brought massive benefits to our society and our economies. Brexit is destroying opportunities for British-based scientists".
The Liberal Democrats are committed to remaining in the European Union as they believe that it is best for the UK and for Europe.