When people ask questions in Parliament the Ministers respond and it is not always clear if their answers are sufficient. At the end of last week in the House of Lords on Thursday there was a series of questions under the headline of Horizon and one of the people who asked a question was Nick Baines who is the Bishop of Leeds. The question and answer are shown below. However it is not at all clear if the “Minister tell us when the scientific community and academia will have some certainty” and indeed there is no real clarity if the Turing programme is as effective as the Erasmus programme. It would be fantastic if some of the people in the educational settings would be able to define this. The Minister who responded and was taking part in the debate was Stephen Parkinson who is the Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay.
Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, I am hearing what has been said about the EU not following through on its commitments, but our own Government have not done so. Look at the Erasmus programme. Promises were made that, in the interim, facilities would be put in place and there would be no deficit, but there clearly has been. Can the Minister tell us when the scientific community and academia will have some certainty, which is what they need?
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay: The right reverend Prelate’s final question is a matter for the EU. We stand ready to follow through on what was agreed in the trade and co-operation agreement and hope that the EU will do so swiftly. Erasmus is another good example of an EU programme that is open to other countries which, unlike us, were not for four decades members of the EU. Regrettably, the EU takes a different view on that. However, our Turing programme replaces it and makes sure that there are opportunities for people studying in the UK to benefit from international collaboration.