As part of the UK Government's series of Technical Notices on “How to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal", the HM Treasury published an updated guidance note: “Funding for UK LIFE projects if there’s no Brexit deal”.
The document sets out to ensure that UK organisations continue to participate in and receive funding over the lifetime of LIFE projects if they have successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before the end of 2020. It does not cover H2020, Erasmus+ or civil nuclear research, which are covered in seperate publications.
After 29 March 2019, if there is no deal - LIFE programme key points:
•LIFE project bids submitted by UK organisations and approved by the EC while we are still a member of the EU will have their funding provided by the UK Government after March 2019;
•LIFE funding for UK organisations acting as partners in projects led by other Member States, either ongoing or awarded funding before the end of 2020, would be replaced by the UK government, taking over any remaining payments due to UK organisations after March 2019, ensuring an uninterrupted flow of funding to these projects until they finish;
•Payments due to be made to project leads after 29 March 2019 may no longer come from the EC, and so would need to be made by the UK government via Defra and the relevant devolved administrations;
•Defra has contacted the small number of organisations in England leading LIFE projects due to be running after 29 March 2019 to request copies of project grant agreements, to inform contingency planning;
•Projects do not need to take any further action at present. The devolved administrations are making similar arrangements for projects where the lead partner is legally based within their countries;
•The guarantee does not cover funding for organisations from countries in consortia with UK participants – only the funding for UK participants is in scope. There are some cases where UK participants lead a consortium and are responsible for distributing funding to the other participants; the UK government is seeking to discuss how this could best be addressed in a ‘no deal’ scenario with the EC.
Further information can be found on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) website. JNCC provides the National Contact Point service for LIFE in the UK. Organisations can contact the JNCC at UKLIFE@jncc.gov.uk if they have further questions, or look on the JNCC website for more information about the fund. If you are a UK partner in a LIFE project led by another Member State and have concerns, please contact Defra at DefraLIFE@defra.gsi.gov.uk.
Those involved in any EU programme not covered by a standalone technical notice should contact the department responsible for overseeing the programme or with the relevant devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.