Britain refuses to be bullied by EU, attracts £14.6bn investment over Brussels

Despite its latest agreement with the EU, the United Kingdom has signalled that it will not be bullied by the EU, as the government prepares to invest nearly £15 billion in Britain rather than Brussels.

The government has unveiled plans for an alternative to Horizon Europe, which would assist the UK in funding science investment.

The UK would invest the same amount of money as it would have paid to become a member of Horizon, totaling £14.6 billion by the end of 2027/8.

The UK is currently negotiating with the EU to gain association membership in the EU’s multibillion-pound research and innovation scheme.

However, Pioneer would be a “Plan B” option if those talks fell through.

Pioneer has been described as a “bold alternative,” designed to serve as a safety net if “the terms of association with Horizon Europe are not in the UK’s interest.”

The plans were described by the government as a “long-term, bold prospectus programme to support research and innovation in the UK if association with the Horizon Europe scheme is not possible.”

While the Government stated that Horizon is the UK’s “preference,” it also stated that association would require a “good deal,” implying that the UK will not be coerced into a poor deal with its European counterparts.

The United Kingdom was supposed to join the Horizon programme as an associate member two years ago, but plans were put on hold due to disagreements over Northern Ireland.

However, talks have resumed since the UK signed a new Northern Ireland deal with the EU, known as the Windsor Framework.

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