Boris, Put the Hammer Down

The past two weeks have identified a number of important problems with the new UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, one of the most prominent being the continuation of huge payments from the UK to the EU in exchange for the UK participating in EU programmes. The biggest of these is the £15 billion over 7 years set aside for UK participation in the EU’s Horizon research programme (which distributes grants to researchers to encourage innovation). While this sounds like a noble cause, the problem is, throughout its entire existence, the UK has made a net loss from the Horizon programme, never receiving any more money than we put in, and we don’t seem to be attempting to negotiate a better deal – why not? Continue reading