The UK has been re-instated as a full member of the Gemini partnership.
This is very good news for the astronomers.
The UK will be able to sell some of its observing time to other partners and, with the approval of the board, to other countries. Hopefully that will save enough money such that deeper cuts to grants will not be necessary.
No good news for STP unfortunately, it seems that in the wacky, world of STFC:
We have to consider cross-disciplinary, cross council proposals from now on. This could be very beneficial in the long run, but is going to take some careful work and good communication between scientists and councils.
Of course STFC have done away with our technical infrastructure already and grants have been slashed on the basis of the brave, new world where some = all. So we are operating from the very far back foot. I hope that AGP and PPAN took note of today's exchange.
UPDATE I must note for the sake of clarity that Prof. Mason did say that 'some' and ' all' were not the same, but that the two statements ('withdrawing from some facilities' and 'withdrawing from all ground base STP') were not incompatible. Make of that what you will.