Douglas Carswell

15 AUG 2016

After Brexit, we can do more than just replace funding

The Treasury has guaranteed post-Brexit funding for farming and science – exactly as Vote Leave promised. It's an important announcement, which puts another Remain myth to bed. But I hope the government goes further than simply matching EU schemes.

The Treasury's announcement ought to be another nail in the coffin of Project Fear. We were told that after we left the EU farming would fold and science would cease. Instead – as Vote Leave said - support will continue, only it will come directly from our government, instead of via a detour through Brussels.

It's hard to understand why that should ever have been in doubt. Britain is the second-largest net contributor to the EU. For every two pounds we put in, we get only one back. All 'EU-funded' projects in the UK are already paid for by British taxpayers twice over.

What's important is not just that we'll have more to spend once we no longer pay dues to Brussels. It's that we – not the Eurocrats – will have control over how our money is spent.

I'd like to see the government explore the options that come with greater control. CAP often subsidises big corporate producers at the expense of smaller farms. Maybe, instead of simply replacing the payments, the government can create a fairer system.

The same applies to science. Many researchers worry not just about the funding but the fate of international collaborations. But Britain could keep participating in Horizon 2020 even as a non-EU country – like Israel. Or perhaps there are universities in non-EU countries that would welcome being better networked with our scientists. Let's look at the possibilities.

In farming and science, no less than in trade, Brexit is an opportunity.

Back to all posts


The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy

"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

Printed by Douglas Carswell of 61 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex