Connect with us

News

David Frost says EU close to breaching Brexit deal over science programme

breaching

David Frost says EU close to breaching Brexit deal over science programme

A fresh Brexit row has been blown open with Brussels after David Frost accused the EU of being close to breaching the trade deal struck last Christmas.

He said the UK was “getting quite concerned” about Brussels delaying ratification of the UK’s participation in the €80bn (£67bn) Horizon Europe research programme, costing British scientists their place in pan-European research programmes.

Lord Frost said the UK had “not made a great deal of this” but patience was running out.

“It’s not a very happy place,” he said. “We are getting quite concerned about this actually. There is an obligation in article 710 of the trade and cooperation agreement to finalise our participation. It uses the word ‘shall’. It is an obligation. It would obviously be a breach of the treaty if the EU doesn’t deliver on this obligation.”

The UK committed to gross funding of £2bn a year to the programme last December but this is not now being paid in as British scientists cannot be formal participants in the programme despite historically leading on many projects.

Earlier on Monday the House of Commons European scrutiny committee suggested the delay in ratifying this part of the trade deal was punishment for the row over the Northern Ireland protocol.

Frost said he had asked his EU counterpart, Maroš Šefčovič, many times why there was a delay when the membership of other countries including Norway and Iceland had already been ratified. While he could “guess” the reason, he had not got an answer, he told MPs.

The science sector fought hard to retain membership of the Horizon Europe programme last year, arguing it was not just the funding but the collaboration with peers across Europe that was important.

Being part of the seven-year programme would also help the UK maintain a thriving science ecosystem supporting jobs in universities and laboratories as well as acting as a magnet for overseas talent.

One Ulster University scientist told the Guardian he was on tenterhooks over a bid for £7m in funding for a project on the impact of Covid on the mental health of children and adolescents.

Dominic McSherry, who is leading a consortium involving five other countries including Norway, said: “These precious relationships are in serious jeopardy at the moment due to the risk to our access to EU funding”

It came as Germany’s ambassador to London, Andreas Michaelis, warned that Berlin would lose trust in the UK if its negotiators rejected a role for the European court of justice in arbitrating the Northern Ireland protocol.

He said Germany had invested a great deal of political capital in persuading the European Commission to change its approach to the protocol and the outcome was “the maximum flexible interpretation of an agreement we have signed on the European side”.

He said: “If those proposals will not be the basis for negotiating a working protocol but will be rejected by pointing for instance to the European court of justice, we all know on all sides that will impact the trust in the relationship very significantly.”

He said the commission had made a huge effort to cut 50% of the paperwork and 80% of the obstacles.

A European Commission spokesperson confirmed UK scientists could continue to apply funding but ratification to Horizon would have to happened before finance was released.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × 4 =

News

MFM Varsity Name Founder, Olukoya Professor

The General Overseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, has been appointed by Mountain Top University, MTU as a professor of Biotechnology.

In a statement on Wednesday, the university said that the  appointment of Olukoya, who is also the university’s Chancellor, was a result of the positive consideration shown by a relevant review by the council and the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in biotechnology.

The statement read, “This is the result of the positive consideration given by relevant review committees and the Council of the University following the assessments of his publications by some of the world’s best scholars in Biotechnology, each of whom found him to be eminently appointable as Professor of Biotechnology.

“It needs to be underscored that this appointment is indeed well-deserved by Prof. D. K. Olukoya, who is an epitome of all-around excellence.

“He also engaged himself as a distinguished researcher and exceptional geneticist at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research between 1984 and 1998, during which he produced more than 70 scientific publications in the best local and international journals in the area of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

“He has also been cited more than a thousand times by scholars across the world.

“Not only has the new Professor of Biotechnology cut a niche for himself among eminent scholars in Microbiology and Biotechnology across the world, he has equally supervised many postgraduate students and continues to serve as a mentor and motivator to many Nigerian Microbiologists and Biotechnologists, many of whom have risen to professorial cadres in universities in and outside Nigeria.”

The statement added that Olukoya was severally offered the position in the 1990s by many universities, saying he chose to pursue his ministerial calling as directed by God.

 

Continue Reading

News

INEC Says 132, 626 Voters Cards Uncollected In Anambra

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that 132,626 Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) are yet to be collected in Anambra State.

The commission added that it has relocated six local government area collection centres in the state, as a result of the insecurity ravaging most parts of the country.

The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Queen Elizabeth Agwu, stated this on Wednesday, during a meeting with stakeholders at the state headquarters of the commission.

Agwu who addressed all the political parties representatives, traditional rulers and civil society groups said the local government areas where the relocation of collation centres took place include Ihiala, Nnewi South, Onitsha North, Orumba North, Awka North and Awka South.

She said:“The collection of PVCs has been extended to Saturdays and Sundays in Anambra State.

“We need enough security to carry out this function. If people fail to collect their PVC, they will be shortchanging themselves, and doing a disservice to the people of their area.

“The 2023 general elections will be free, fair and credible, not only in Anambra State but the entire country. We have done the necessary work, and we hope to deliver.”

She gave a breakdown of the figures of uncollected PVCs in most local government areas as follows:

Ayamelum – 1,960; Dunukofia – 6,222; Idemili South – 4’589; Anaocha – 885; Orumba South -6,656; Onitsha South – 12,274; Idemili North – 16,256; Aguata – 12675; Njikoka – 7,009; Ogbaru – 10,755 and Anambra East – 7,717.

Others are Nnewi South – 1,841; Awka North – 1,153; Anambra West – 1,387; Orumba North – 2,393; Oyi – 7,982; Onitsha North – 9,990; Ihiala – 4,058; Nnewi North – 8,700; Ekwusigo – 3,350 and Awka South – 4,971.

 

Continue Reading

News

Osun LP Guber Candidate, Lasun Rejoins PDP

Yusuf Lasun, a former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke made the announcement on Wednesday at the PDP presidential rally in Osogbo, the Osun capital.

“The former deputy speaker has joined the PDP family. He used to be in PDP, but today, he has decided to come and join the PDP family,” the governor said.

Lasun, who was present at the rally, hailed supporters after a terse remark.

Lasun had contested the 2022 governorship election in Osun on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

Adeleke came first in the election; Gboyega Oyetola of the APC placed second; Kehinde Atanda of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) came third; while Lasun came a distant fourth.

He was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until February when he resigned from the party after losing the party’s governorship ticket.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending