James Cleverly is meeting with Maros Sefcovic this morning to sign off the Windsor Framework, the newly agreed UK-EU Brexit deal. The two leaders will sign off the deal before a meeting of the trade and cooperation agreement partnership council. This is only the second time the council has met. The deal paves the way for the UK to access the Horizon science programme – the EU’s research and innovation funding programme which has a budget of nearly £80 billion.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has previously suggested the UK’s newly agreed deal with the EU on Northern Ireland will allow Britain to rejoin the Horzion science programme – which we lost access to when we left the single market.

Asked whether the agreement would help the UK’s bid to access the science programme, Ms von der Leyen told a press conference in Windsor: “Yes, this Windsor Framework is good news for scientists and researchers in the European Union and in the UK.

“Because, of course, the moment we have finished this agreement – so it’s an agreement in principle – the moment it’s implemented I am happy to start immediately right now the work on an association agreement, which is the precondition to join Horizon Europe.

“So good news for all those who are working in research and science.”

Ahead of today’s meeting, Mr Cleverly said: “By formally approving the Windsor framework, we are delivering on our commitment to provide stability and certainty for Northern Ireland.

“The framework is the best deal for Northern Ireland, safeguarding its place in the Union and protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) agreement.

“I look forward to further effective cooperation with the EU on key issues, such as security and energy.”

The Foreign Office said: “The partnership council will cover wider UK-EU cooperation, including on issues such as the UK’s access to EU science and research programmes, energy, trade and security.

“The UK will continue to work with the EU in a range of areas including research collaboration, but also strengthening sanctions against Russia as well as energy security, and illegal migration.”


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