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Horizon Europe

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2021

What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the funding of the UK associating to Horizon Europe. (913802)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regularly speaks to Her Majesty’s Treasury on a range of issues. I am pleased that we are taking part in the Horizon Europe programme; it will bring a huge benefit to the United Kingdom. We will set out our plans for 2021-22, including Horizon Europe funding, in due course.

Last week, the Government’s integrated review confirmed that there would be a multi-year settlement for UK Research and Innovation. Can the Minister confirm that funding for associating to Horizon Europe will be covered separately from this settlement? If not, can she explain how funding for Horizon Europe and this multi-year uplifted settlement will be supported?

As I have previously mentioned, the discussions around this are ongoing and the funding will be announced in due course. I would like to point out to the hon. Lady that we have an ambition to be a science superpower and, in fact, we have committed £22 billion by 2024-25.

Everyone who has had a coronavirus vaccine knows of the deep sense of gratitude to scientists. In facing the challenge of climate change, future pandemics and technological change, we look to science. At the general election, the Prime Minister promised to double science spend. Instead, we appear to have a £1 billion cut to the science budget plus a £120 million cut to our overseas development science as part of a “new settlement” that protects

“the most effective research programmes.”

Can the Minister say which programmes will be cut, which scientists will lose their grants, and which institutions will close? The Government who clap the NHS but impose a real-terms pay cut now plan to praise science and cut scientists.

BEIS regularly has talks with Her Majesty’s Treasury on these issues. Let me reiterate that we plan to be a science superpower by 2024-25, with a £22 billion investment. We also have a Second Reading debate today on a high-risk, high-reward agency. Furthermore, in terms of the spending review, more than £40 billion across Government was spent on science.