Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Horizon: A step forward but Brexit still ‘holding back’ Welsh science

07 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Liz Saville Roberts MP – Photo by Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has described the news that UK is to rejoin the EU’s Horizon Europe science programme as “a step in the right direction” but pointed to continuing barriers for the scientific community due to the impact of Brexit.

The European Commission and the UK have reached a political agreement on the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe, the EU’s research, and innovation programme, and Copernicus, the EU’s Earth observation programme.

Associate membership had been agreed as part of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

However, the UK has been excluded from the scheme for the past three years due to Boris Johnson’s refusal to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol agreed as part of the TCA.

Ms Saville Roberts pointed to Welsh Government estimations that Wales has seen a £32m (€38m) reduction in EU research funding since the Brexit referendum due to political uncertainty.

She also pointed to a “£70m black hole in funding” due to the lack of adequate transition funding from EU funding to UK structural funding.

Deprived

She added that Wales’ scientific community continues to be disadvantaged by being outside of Europe’s economic frameworks and deprived of free movement.

The number of EU students enrolling in UK universities has more than halved since the ending of freedom of movement.

Plaid Cymru advocate the UK rejoining Europe’s economic and trading frameworks, which Ms Saville Roberts said would ensure that the scientific community in Wales is “no longer held back from fulfilling its full potential.”

Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “Welsh researchers will finally be able to access the EU’s Horizon programme, relieving years of Brexit blight.

“This uncertainty meant that scientists had already lost out to the tune of £32 million due to the reduced number of bids for EU funding following the EU referendum.

“Access to Horizon will re-start in three months’ time. This will not help scientists in Wales who are facing a £70 million black hole in funding due to the lack of adequate transition from EU funding to UK structural funding, which is a huge threat to the Welsh research base. At least 60 projects and 1000 jobs are at risk across Wales.

“The UK Government must remedy this problem of their own making, and support Welsh scientists and researchers facing cuts and job losses.

“This damage to Welsh science and research has been caused by chaotic Tory Brexit posturing and bad decision-making.

“It is vital that regional development spending in the form of the Shared Prosperity Funds, which is already £1.1 billion lower than previous EU funding, complements rather than works against spending from the Horizon programme going forward.

“Plaid Cymru has long called for the devolution of the SPF Wales, so that the Senedd can deploy this vital resource strategically, as it is currently mismanaged by the UK and is not serving the needs of Wales.

“Re-joining Horizon is a step in the right direction, but our scientists are still at a disadvantage by being outside Europe’s economic frameworks and deprived of free movement.

“That is why the UK must rejoin the single market so that the scientific community in Wales is no longer held back from fulfilling its full potential.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
7 months ago

Whatever you think of Brexit. Wales voted foir it let’s have a vote on 29mph.

G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
7 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

This argument is only valid if you are obsessed with a first past the post ideology which is the Tory mantra.
I am not sure of the significance of 29 mph but my car is capable of killing anyone one at any speed up to 29mph

Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
7 months ago

Does Labour want to change first past the post. I don’t know what Plaid wants I only know what it is against.

CapM
CapM
7 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

First Past the Post is going to be dumped for a more proportional system for Senedd elections due to the support of Labour in the Senedd and Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru wanted the new system to be more proportional still but Labour in the Senedd refused.to go along with that.

Labour and Conservative GB parties are against any system other than First past the post.

By the way what is Plaid Cymru against?

saveenergy
saveenergy
7 months ago

Wales should not be allowed to participate in any EU programmes as we are not members of the EU.

We voted to leave & “take control” (hasn’t that worked well ??? )
52.5% of people wanted to leave & get away from those nasty foreigners, to be ‘Independent” & Isolated;
becoming a 3rd world country was forecast & is the inevitable result.

Brexit vote …
Wales: Remain 772,347 votes (47.5%), Leave 854,472 votes (52.5%)

You made the choice … now live with the consequences … or rejoin (on worse terms than we had before ) !!!

Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
7 months ago
Reply to  saveenergy

Can’t argue with that.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  saveenergy

But we were also told by the leave campaign including Farage and Daniel Hannan that voting Leave would not mean leaving the Single Market or Customs Union, which turned out to be a lie. Forget the disastrous impact on our economy or the impact on the people of Northern Ireland.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
7 months ago

If you cannot work it out i will tell you what holds Wales back is being ruled by England we as a country will not move foreword until we THROW OF THE SHACKLES of England when you put a comment on the comments in the london press online you get answers like Wales is an extension of england and england owns Wales but the one that always crops up Wales is kept by England same as Scotland and my answer which i have put on about twenty times over the years IF ENGLAND KEEPS WALES AND SCOTLAND DO YOU NOT… Read more »

Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
7 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

I agree but at the moment Wales lacks the infrastructure to be an independent nation. We must show what devolution is capable of not whine its Westmi9nster’s fault.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.