How the Brexit affect EU programs H2020 and Erasmus+?

On 15 January the House of Commons held a vote on the government’s Withdrawal Agreement as part of the process of the UK exiting the EU. The House of Commons rejected the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK Government’s policy is still to secure a deal with the EU.

It is not yet known what will happen next: Whether the reported withdrawal period will be transferred (29.3.2019)? Will a new referendum be held? Whether Britain will get rid of the contract without agreement, or will the entire withdrawal notice be canceled?

According to the Finnish National Agency for Education, British law and obligations also cease under EU funding programs in the case of non-contractual divorce. Furthermore, the costs of participation by British organizations in Erasmus + projects would no longer be acceptable and the British partners of the project would not be counted as EU partners.

Before 29 March 2019

According the UK`s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy the UK and EU’s intention is that the eligibility of UK researchers and businesses to participate in Horizon 2020 will remain unchanged for the remaining duration of the programme. This has been agreed as part of the Financial Settlement which was signed-off by both UK and European Commission negotiators in a draft Withdrawal Agreement and welcomed by the other 27 EU countries at March European Council.

After 29 March 2019 if there is ‘no deal’

In the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, the UK’s departure from the EU would mean UK organisations may be unable to access funding for Horizon 2020 projects after exit day. However, the UK Chancellor announced in August and October 2016 that the UK government will guarantee funding for competitively bid for EU projects submitted before UK leave the EU, including Horizon 2020 projects. This guarantee will cover all successful bids submitted by UK participants before the UK exits the EU, for the full duration of the projects.

The guarantee does not cover funding for organisations from other countries who are in consortia with UK participants – only the funding for UK participants is in scope.

As regards project applications in H2020 or Erasmus+, it is advisable to design the applications to be submitted in the 2019 application round so that the project is eligible even if the participating British partner in the worst case would be dropped out of the project.

More information about BREXIT and EU-programs: 

UK Depatrment for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Anu Tiilikainen-Tervaniemi 
Research funding adviser
Research and Innovation services