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Skidmore warns joining Horizon Europe could take a year

The universities and science minister has said that signing up to the European Union’s massive R&D funding programme could take up to year after Brexit.

Participating in the forthcoming multi-billion euro funding scheme without delay is a top priority for leaders and researchers in academia worried over post-Brexit uncertainty. But, in his first appearance in front of a parliamentary committee since taking up his new job last month, Chris Skidmore said that discussions on the UK securing the associated country status that would allow access to the Horizon Europe research programme when it begins in 2021 would take nine months to a year and could not begin until after Brexit day on 29 March.

“It’s worthwhile reflecting on that timescale of delivery for associated memberships,” he told the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee on 9 January.

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