Philip Hammond, the UK Chancellor, just announced that the UK would match any EU programs if leaving the European Union would entail their loss. This includes programs such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) subsidies for Britain’s farmers, European research funding, and some of the structural assistance funding. There is nothing wrong with this suggestion. The UK is sovereign, and can make any announcement it sees fit to make. And of course, funding scientific research is exactly what government research and development policy should promote.

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Historically, EU agricultural protectionism has been some of the heaviest baggage with which the EU comes to the negotiating table. It would certainly be a missed opportunity for the UK if it were to simply adopt the same production-subsidy distorting policies of the CAP and CFP after it is out of the EU. Prior to withdrawal, EU policies continue to apply in full of course.

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As Britain sails uncertainly forward into the choppy waters ahead, we need to keep our negotiating options as open as they can be. Reserving our ability to present to the world a face which is open to the world will be a key part of securing safe passage towards a place where Britain is at the centre of a trading network.”

Read: Dear Chancellor, Provide Stability but Let's Keep Our Options Open