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UK extends stop-gap funding for research as Brexit row drags on

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Thursday it will extend financial support to researchers and businesses locked out of the European Union's Horizon Europe funding scheme due to post-Brexit tensions between London and Brussels.

The government said it will guarantee funding to cover all Horizon Europe applications made before the end of 2022.

In 2020, Britain secured access to Horizon, a 95.5 billion euro ($95.65 billion) scheme that supports grants and projects for researchers in Europe. But the EU put the deal on hold after a row with Britain over trading rules for Northern Ireland.

Two weeks ago, Britain launched dispute resolution proceedings with the EU to gain access to a range of scientific research programmes, including Horizon Europe.

In July, the government sketched out a package of transitional measures to support research and innovation in case the EU permanently blocks accession to Horizon Europe.

Britain has pledged up to 15 billion pounds for Horizon Europe until 2027 if it is allowed to participate.

Before Thursday's extension, the government pledged to support all eligible grants with signing dates - a final stage of the process which follows the initial applications - before the end of December 2022.

($1 = 0.9984 euros)

(Reporting by Humza Jilani; Editing by William Schomberg)