This information applies only to projects receiving direct fundings from Horizon 2020 programmes, but not to other initiatives such as Eurostars, etc. - Brexit information regarding these programmes can be obtained from responsible experts at FFG. Information about possible no-deal impacts on cofund projects and other Horizon 2020 partnerships can be found here.
There is the possibility that the United Kingdom (UK) will leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and therefore without a transition period (referred to as “no-deal” scenario). This would have consequences for calls and ongoing projects carried out under Horizon 2020.
The UK government has committed to compensating UK project partners for lost funding from the EC in the case of a no-deal scenario (underwrite guarantee). Please note, however, that this guarantee applies exclusively to project partners from the UK and not from other countries and that this commitment to date constitutes a purely political announcement without any legally binding effect.
If the status quo remains the same until final BREXIT, this will have the following consequences for (ongoing) Horizon 2020 projects:
Please note: The Brexit has been postponed to 31 October 2019 the latest. In case of an earlier ratification of a withdrawal agreement, the Brexit takes effect on the first day of the month following the ratification. If there is no withdrawal agreement ratified until 22 May 2019, the UK has to hold European elections (23 to 26 May 2019) or otherwise has to leave on 1 June 2019.
More detailed information can be found on the following pages:
- BBC (Brexit Chart)
- UKRO (Brexit-Factsheet about the current UK situation in Horizon 2020)
- UK Government (Overview + Guidance + UK Preparations)
A "no-deal" scenario would mean that the UK will be a non-associated third country/non-EU country and will have a similar status to a (high-income) industrial state (e.g. Japan).
This would mean for the UK:
- that UK organisations would generally be eligible to participate in all programme lines of Horizon 2020, unless the relevant calls impose specific restrictions, but
- would not automatically be eligible to receive funding.
UK organisations would lose their eligibility for funding upon the UK’s withdrawal. This would mean that the costs incurred by them after a "no deal" Brexit will no longer be eligible for funding.
It is essential that ongoing Horizon 2020 projects continue to meet the minimum requirements for participation according to Art. 9 of the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation (collaborative projects: at least three independent organisations from three different EU Member States/Associated Countries). If the action does not fulfill these minimum criteria for participation after the exit of the British organisation anymore, this would either require an Amendment initiated by the European Commission (EC) (admission of new partner, change of status of UK organisation), or the project would be terminated by the EC (see pages 37, 339 and 357 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement (AGA)).
UK organisations may receive funding as participants from a non-EU country in exceptional cases, especially
- when the UK (or a group of countries to which the UK belongs), is explicitly addressed in the work programme and/or
- the UK organisation is essential for the implementation of the project and the benefit it brings to the consortium has been clearly and convincingly presented in the project proposal (e.g. technological edge, proven expertise, research infrastructure).
UK organisations may also participate as international partners (Art. 14a Grant Agreement) and carry out project work without, however, receiving EU funding.
Information in particular for universities can be found here:
- Brexit: How universities can prepare for a no-deal scenario
- Letter from Prof. Dame Janet Beer to research ministries and funders
For detailed information about the different project types please consult the following sites: