Dear Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen,
The European Movement UK calls upon the UK government and the European Commission to give the highest priority to reaching an agreement for the UK to associate with the Horizon Europe research, innovation, and science programme.
Now that the stand-off over the Northern Ireland Protocol has been resolved, UK scientists and other potential participants should not miss out for a moment longer. They need and deserve access to the countless opportunities the various parts of Horizon Europe provide to work with European partners and institutions. For their part, EU 27 and other Horizon beneficiaries have made very clear how highly they value UK participation. Getting the UK back into Horizon Europe is a win-win.
The UK urgently needs to get back in the Horizon Europe team - and Europe needs the UK back in it. Pooling excellence once again will help save lives, protect the planet, and develop technologies we will all need for a fair, successful and sustainable future.
In the words of former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Scottish Government and Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission President, Professor Dame Anne Glover, “The clock is ticking. the UK needs access now to make the most of these opportunities for all of us”.
There can be no excuse for squandering this opportunity. We call on both sides to grasp it by reaching a rapid and equitable agreement. We call on the UK government to reciprocate the European Commission’s openness by committing immediately in principle to the UK association, subject to satisfactory financial terms.