UK promises to maintain EU funding for farming, science

FILE - In this file photo dated Friday, May 13, 2016, Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond arrives at Downing Street in London. Britain's Treasury chief Philip Hammond said Saturday Aug. 13, 2016, in a funding guarantee that Britain will keep paying for European Union-funded agriculture, infrastructure and science projects even if Britain leaves the bloc. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, FILE)

LONDON — The British government promised Saturday to keep paying for European Union-funded agriculture, infrastructure and science projects until 2020, even if Britain leaves the bloc before then.

Treasury chief Philip Hammond wants to allay worry among farmers and scientists about what will replace the millions they currently get from the EU. Some scientists in Britain say the uncertainty is already hitting their ability to begin multi-year research projects.

Hammond said organizations "want reassurance about the flow of funding they will receive," and the announcement would help provide "stability and certainty." He said the funding guarantee would cost taxpayers about 4.5 billion pounds ($5.8 billion) a year.

Britain voted in June to leave the 28-nation EU, but an exit likely remains several years away. The Conservative government says it will not trigger the formal two-year exit negotiations process before next year.

Scientists' organization the Royal Society welcomed the announcement, but said it should be extended to give more stability.

Its president, biologist Venki Ramakrishnan, said "we have been hearing anecdotal reports of people not being willing to collaborate with certain U.K. collaborators because they weren't sure that they would be able to stay for the full duration of the grant."

Must Read

US had near record heat, costly weather disasters in 2016

Jan 9, 2017

Meteorologists said 2016 went in the record books as one of the hottest, wildest and costliest weather years in the United States

Earth sets hottest year record for third-straight time,

Jan 18, 2017

Scientists say the Earth sizzled to a third-straight heat record last year

Genes may help grocery tomatoes catch up to heirloom taste

Jan 26, 2017

Scientists have figured out how to add much needed taste to the bland, mass-produced grocery tomato

Kick Connect publishes a comprehensive overview of the latest news and theories on science & technology. We also report accurate news with a unique perspective on the world around us.

Contact us: sales@kickconnect.com