Greens question UK government’s commitment to science funding

Scotland could be set to lose out on its share of €80 billion of science funding it has been revealed, after the Secretary of State for Scotland was questioned by a Green MSP.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone asked David Mundell MP at today’s meeting of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee what plans the UK government has in place to ensure that Scotland still receives its share from Horizon 2020 – “the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever”. Due to our world class universities, Scotland currently receives far more funding than what a population-based calculation would provide.

The Scotland Office boss replied saying it was “too early to say” and that he “couldn’t give a commitment at this point”.

Lothian MSP, Alison Johnstone said:

“The EU referendum, where 62% in Scotland voted to Remain, wasn’t held a few weeks ago, it was last summer and still there is no plan in place ensure that Scotland is protected from the forthcoming damage of Brexit, particularly in relation to how research and innovation projects at our world famous universities are funded.

“The fact remains, if Scotland is dragged out of the EU with the rest of the UK, then we stand to lose out on applying for a share of the €80 billion in European science funding. All of this could be avoided if Westminster adopted a more consensual negotiating stance and seriously considered the ways for Scotland to retain a relationship with Europe, perhaps those proposed in the Scottish Government’s options paper.”