‘Nothing prefer it’: EU is lacking out on ‘world-beating’ Horizon science hub over visa row | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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The United Kingdom has rejected claims from the European Union that scientists are shunning the nation within the Horizon Europe analysis programme on account of visa points.

The denial comes after a gathering in London on Monday, the place UK science, enterprise, and analysis leaders have been inspired to take advantage of Horizon Europe funding regardless of issues over prices and visas for European scientists working within the UK post-Brexit.

The UK withdrew from the Horizon Europe programme in 2020, creating uncertainty for British researchers. After extended negotiations, the UK formally rejoined the scheme in January 2024.

However, issues persist over the prices related to participation and potential obstacles for European scientists in search of to work within the UK.

Illiana Ivanova, the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, addressed these issues at a press convention after the assembly.

She stated: “There were some concerns that were raised by researchers, and also related to the cost of fees, healthcare surcharges, salaries. I wouldn’t want to focus on what might be a potential division.”

Responding to the EU Commissioner’s claims, former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib advised Express.co.uk: “The United Kingdom has a world-beating tertiary education facility, including three out of the top universities in the world.

“There is nothing prefer it in Europe. If European scientists will not be keen to come back to the UK, so be it!”

Last year, the UK was expected to rejoin Horizon Europe, focusing on critical areas such as medical research and climate change. However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delayed the re-entry to secure a better deal on budget contributions, with the UK expected to contribute approximately €2.43 billion per year to the €95.5 billion Horizon Europe budget.

Earlier on Monday, Ivanova warned that Britain needed to ease visa procedures or risk missing out on the full benefits of Horizon Europe. She mentioned difficulties faced by European researchers going to the UK due to visa issues and higher costs.

However, British Science Minister Michelle Donelan refuted claims that the UK was facing challenges in recruiting participants. At the press conference, she stressed that the “key message” from scientists, innovators, and businesses was that association with the Horizon Europe project would support their interests and contribute to Britain’s economic growth.

Donelan acknowledged the concerns raised by the EU and said: “The British public voted to go away the EU to have extra management and say over their decision-making. Of course, that implies that on each one in all these completely different facets, the deserves and subjects would must be reviewed and examined.” She emphasised that rejoining Horizon Europe was “considerably of a no brainer” and that the UK took its time to rejoin the undertaking to make sure worth for taxpayers.