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Brexit LIVE: Anger as UK ‘frozen out’ of £80bn EU project in Brexit punishment crackdown

Brexit: Bill Cash quizzes Lewis on UK's Northern Ireland stance

UK scientists have fought to retain membership of the project - but which an agreement to include them in the Trade and Cooperation Deal (TCA) was reached in December, it now appears associate membership of Horizon Europe has not yet been rubber-stamped. Sir Bill, the Tory MP for Stone in Staffordshire, said: “It’s been the best part of a year and British research institutions remain frozen out of key projects and funding despite agreement on participation. “With each passing day the opportunities are missed, British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them and the returns on our financial contribution edge lower."

Boris Johnson Ursula von der Leyen

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen are at loggerheads over Northern Ireland (Image: GETTY)

He warned: “This needs to be addressed swiftly, so we’re calling on the government to lay out the steps it is taking to ensure UK participation is formalised.”

Mariya Gabriel, the European Union's Commissioner for Innovation and Research, last week said the UK would not be able to join the programme until the question of Northern Ireland was resolved.

Ms Gabriel told ScienceBusiness: "Association is a thematic subject, and I am confident that we are ready to tackle it as soon as possible, but transversal issues need to be tackled first.

"I think that it is important on our side to confirm our opinion to advance on association, but only after the framework is agreed by both sides."

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UK being "frozen out", claims Cash

Britain is being “frozen out” of the EU’s £80billion Horizon Europe scientific programme in retaliation for Boris Johnson’s stance on the Northern Ireland Protocol, Tory Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash has claimed.

UK scientists have fought to retain membership of the project - but which an agreement to include them in the Trade and Cooperation Deal (TCA) was reached in December, it now appears associate membership of Horizon Europe has not yet been rubber-stamped.

Sir Bill, the Tory MP for Stone in Staffordshire, said: “It’s been the best part of a year and British research institutions remain frozen out of key projects and funding despite agreement on participation.

“With each passing day the opportunities are missed, British institutions are left high and dry while science marches on without them and the returns on our financial contribution edge lower."