Plea to protect research funds

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Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield has called for the Government to ‘engage in a debate’ on European Union funding which protects budgets for scientific research.

Labour MP Mr Blomfield, whose party joined with Tory rebels to defeat the Government on increasing payments to the EU, highlighted the benefits that EU spending brings to the UK.

He said: “EU research and innovation funding contributes 10 per cent of our national science budget.

“The quality, breadth and depth of UK research puts us in a position whereby we gain disproportionately from European research programmes.”

The UK receives 15 per cent of all EU funding for scientific research – and British organisations are also involved in further research elsewhere.