New government guarantees to replace EU funding
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has given important reassurances to British businesses and universities in the wake of the Brexit vote. The new Chancellor has given his assurance that British organisations that are receiving EU funding will continue to do so after Brexit. This announcement should also help provide certainty for many key projects that will help boost the economy and stave off the threat of recession by encouraging economic growth and creating new jobs.
The specific 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; and
- where UK organizations 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.
The Chancellor was clear to show that funding will be preserved, saying:
‘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.’
This announcement is a significant signal of the government’s policy of dealing with the Brexit vote. The emergency budget suggested by the last Chancellor never saw the light of day and many commentators are now expecting the autumn statement to help introduce measures to drive the UK’s economic growth.