UK Government guarantees funding for UK H2020 project participants even after the UK leaves the EU

18 Aug 2016 London - Thousands of British organisations will receive guarantees over EU funding in a new move by Chancellor Philip Hammond of the British Government announced. This includes funding for UK organisations that participate in Horizon 2020 projects. Many advanced e-Infrastructure and supercomputing projects could be affected. This holds for projects that start when the UK is still in the process of exiting the European Union. What happens after that remains unclear. There has been some reluctance of other European organisations to take on board UK partners in European Horizon2020 project proposals. Whether this announcement gives enough reassurance remains to be seen. Apart from the funding of the UK partners, also some contribution for the funding for the overall Horizon 2020 administration seems to be needed. And a lot of legal issues still need to be sorted out.

Key projects supporting economic development across the UK will be given the green light, ending uncertainty over their future following the UK's decision to leave the European Union, says the UK treasurer in the announcement.

Assurances set out by the Treasury include:

  • all structural and investment fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded, even when these projects continue beyond the UK's departure from the EU
  • the Treasury will also put in place arrangements for assessing whether to guarantee funding for specific structural and investment fund projects that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while we remain a member of the EU. Further details will be provided ahead of the Autumn Statement
  • where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK's departure from the EU

As a result, the Treasurer says, British businesses and universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:

  • The UK will continue to have all of the rights, obligations and benefits that membership brings, including receiving European funding, up until the point we leave the EU.
  • We recognise that many organisations across the UK which are in receipt of EU funding, or expect to start receiving funding, want reassurance about the flow of funding they will receive.
  • That is why I am confirming that structural and investment funds projects signed before the Autumn Statement and Horizon research funding granted before we leave the EU will be guaranteed by the Treasury after we leave. The government will also match the current level of agricultural funding until 2020, providing certainty to our agricultural community, which play a vital role in our country.
  • We are determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU and that we use the opportunities that departure presents to determine our own priorities.
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