London, Nov 7 (EFE) .- London, Nov 7 (EFE) .- The British Government is studying withdrawing funds for 15,000 million pounds (17,500 million euros) from research and innovation programs with the European Union (EU) if the Bilateral relations continue to deteriorate as a result of Brexit.
The British authorities have begun to explore national alternatives to the Horizon Europe, Copernicus and Euratom programs, the three main Community initiatives in the fields of science, satellites and nuclear, published this Sunday “The Telegraph”.
In the EU Withdrawal Agreement signed in 2020, the United Kingdom is expected to continue participating in these projects, one of the few cooperation ties that remained after Brexit.
The ministers of the Conservative Executive are examining the British options if the EU decides to respond to the activation of Article 16 of the Northern Irish protocol by London, according to internal documents to which the British newspaper had access.
That controversial article would suspend the protocol for Northern Ireland, a possibility that the United Kingdom has been considering for some time in the event of not finding an agreement with Brussels on the implementation of the agreement.
The UK contributes 2,100 million pounds (2,400 million euros) annually to the Horizon Europe program for seven years, allowing British scientists access to the projects and funds of that initiative.
However, the country has not yet been formally accepted as an associate member of the program, according to the “Telegraph”, which is interpreted in the British cabinet as a deliberate strategy by the EU to pressure negotiations on Northern Ireland.
“We are examining alternatives in case the EU blocks our access, which would mean a break from what was agreed less than a year ago,” said a government source quoted by the newspaper.
A leaked document that was addressed at a meeting of the Brexit secretariat of state indicated that the Executive departments have been asked to prepare alternatives to each program if the association does not become a reality within a satisfactory period.
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