Much has been said about the potential benefits of the Windsor Framework to ease the problems around the Northern Ireland protocol.

The government's focus this week had switched to legislation to discourage illegal migrants and the more cynical amongst us reckon this might be part of a plan to ease criticism of the deal around the protocol by adopting a tough stance on a cause close to the hearts to the pro-Brexit supporters in the Conservative Party and beyond.

Rishi Sunak had been at great pains to stress the benefits of the EU single market for Northern Ireland, while at the same time denying that advantage to the rest of the UK. A wider issue is how long he can resist pressure from potentially a majority of people and businesses to allow the rest of the UK similar, easy access to the single market.

Beyond that, it seems that over a crucial part of the 'Framework' deal, Sunak is at risk of snatching defeat from the jaws of a victory. Part of it was to ease the problems around the UK joining and playing a part in the multi-billion euro EU Horizon science programme.

UK scientists and academics have been pressing for this and welcomed the news that this would be eased by the framework deal. But now it seems Sunak has gone cold on the idea of the UK playing a part and contributing its share of funding and expertise.

This may well be because he wants to look tough over Brexit. He has said before that he wants to the see the UK playing its part in global science, but he is making a fundamental error is seeing this as an either/or option.

There is no reason for the UK not to be part of both, provided the government is willing to make the necessary investment in science to walk on a European and global stage. That is unlikely, but the decision should be driven be what science could deliver and not by politics.

Years of working with Europe, which is close to the UK in needs and conditions, has served science well. If the government does not want to be part of Horizon for political reasons, it should have the honesty to say so and explain why global options would offer better outcomes and better value for money.

Horizon had been good for agriculture and farming has much to gain from a successful conclusion of the open goal left by Brussels in the Framework deal. Farming systems are similar in the EU and UK, with both subject to the same environmental and other regulations.

They also largely family farm based models and over the years co-operation between research institutions has delivered good outcomes for farmers. In an industry driven by the realities of breeding cycles and seasons, it makes sense to accelerate progress by having Europe-wide organisations work on the same problems in different ways.

This accelerates progress and that is important when Europe and the UK, unlike north America as the other major research base for agriculture, are jointly sceptical about genetic modification as the main way forwards.

We are at the dawn of a new age on gene editing and as that door opens in Europe and the UK progress will be best achieved via joint programmes. The other side of this coin is that, in the absence of Horizon UK, research will lack the funding and scale needed to make the progress farmers need to remain competitive.

Even the big players in UK research are global research minnows, but Horizon gave them the scale needed to make a real impact for farmers and consumers. Farmers know this makes sense and researchers in the UK have long made clear that they want to be part of the Horizon programme, as they were before Brexit.

When the possibility of not sharing science was raised at the time of the referendum, it became another example of the oven-ready trade deal philosophy. It would be such an easy deal it was not worth worrying about. Now that could finally come true, thanks to the Framework deal.

If the UK government decided to continue playing politics with science, it will be no different to the EU countries that have blocked GM science on political grounds for many years.

The single market parts of the framework are for Northern Ireland, but the Horizon programme part will benefit the entire UK.