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How will Brexit Affect Businesses? Funding & Business Support

Please note: the information provided here is a high level summary of information available from sources in the public domain and does not constitute legal advice.


Introduction

At this stage, we do not know what the final EU-UK deal will be, but we do know what has been proposed in the draft Withdrawal Deal & Political Declaration and what a “hard Brexit” or “no deal” scenario would look like. By understanding how either Brexit scenario would affect your business, you will be in the best possible position to respond to whatever the final deal contains.

MPs have now rejected the Prime Minister’s Brexit Withdrawal Deal multiple times in votes in the House of Commons. However, further attempts may yet be made to renegotiate elements of it and/or return it to the Commons for a further vote (along with a number of other scenarios). We will continue to update this Q&A as more information becomes available.

What follows are key questions that we receive from businesses about Brexit related topics and information on what we know to date from negotiations (where applicable) and what would happen in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.

For the latest update on Brexit negotiations and the Brexit timeline click here.

For more information on the draft Withdrawal Deal and Political Declaration click here for “Brexit FAQs” from the British Chambers of Commerce.


Funding

What do we know so far?

The Horizon 2020 initiative is a 7 year EU programme (2014-2020) which provides funding for research and innovation. The EU and the UK have agreed that UK researchers will be able to continue participating for the remainder of the programme. This was included in the financial settlement which forms part of the draft Withdrawal Agreement.  

After the Horizon 2020 funding programme ends, it will be replaced by its successor Horizon Europe which will run from 2021 -2027, with a potential budget of €97.6 billion. The Government has said that it intends to negotiate for participation in the successor programme, but it is important to note that the UK will be treated as a third country for the programme and will have to pay to participate.    

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit

In the event of a no deal Brexit, the Government has stated that UK organisations may be unable to access funding for Horizon 2020 projects after the UK leaves the EU. However, the Chancellor has committed to guarantee funding for competitively bid for EU projects that have been submitted by UK participants before the UK exits the EU. The  Government expects UK organisations to be able to apply for and participate in bids open to third countries’ participation, but this is still to be negotiated with the EU Commission.

Click here for further information

What do we know so far?

If the Government reaches an agreement with the European Union, then the UK will continue to participate in all European Union programmes until the end of the current EU budget period in 2020.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit

In the event of a no deal Brexit, the Treasury has committed to underwrite funding for all UK organisations who have successfully bid for European funding. The guarantee means that your company will receive the full financial allocation over the projects lifetime.

Click here for more information.

What do we know so far?

If the UK Government reaches an agreement with the European Union then UK businesses will still be able to access European funding until the end of the implementation period in 2020. The terms for future UK participation in EU programmes have yet to be outlined.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit

In the event of a no deal Brexit, UK businesses will no longer have access to bid for funding from the European Commission.

What do we know so far?

The Government set out in its manifesto that it would look to establish a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to replace European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) once the UK leaves the EU. The European Structural and Investment Funds include the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. The Government has said that the main objective of the UKSPF would be to tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, with a particular focus on deprived areas of the country.

Click here for more information from the UK Parliament.


Business Support

What do we know so far?

The Enterprise Europe Network is a European Union initiative which comes under the Competitiveness of Europe’s businesses (COSME) programme. The current funding for this programme runs until the end of the EU Multinational Financial Framework period in 2020. If the UK reaches an agreement with the EU, then your organisation will continue to be able to access the Enterprise Europe Network until the end of the implementation period in 2020.

There is a possibility that your company may still be able to access the Enterprise Europe Network after 2020 as the UK will take on a Third Country status. In this context the participation in the EEN will be as a Business Cooperation Centre (BCC) but will need to be on a self-financing basis and services delivered may be charged for. Currently they are free of charge to the business. The BCC status only allows for supporting access to the Single Market and not BCC to BCC, e.g. UK (as a third country) to China

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit

In the event of a no deal Brexit, there is a possibility that your company may still be able to access the Enterprise Europe Network after 2020 as the UK will take on a Third Country status. In this context the participation in the EEN will be as a Business Cooperation Centre (BCC) but will need to be on a self-financing basis and services delivered may be charged for. Currently they are free of charge to the business. The BCC status only allows for supporting access to the Single Market and not BCC to BCC, e.g. UK (as a third country) to China.

 

What do we know so far?

It is not yet clear as to whether EU funded business support programmes will still be available in the long term. This will be subject to the final agreement between the EU and the UK and will most likely differ from programme to programme. This is because the UK may be excluded from or face restrictions for certain EU programmes because of its third country status. It will also depend on whether the UK Government wishes to provide the same level of funding, where necessary. If both sides reach an agreement, then your business will continue to be able to access EU funded business support and university programmes until the end of the current period in 2020. For Growth Hubs, which receive funding from the European Regional Development programme, the UK Government has said that subject to a final negotiated agreement, they will continue to receive the same level of funding until the end of the programme.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit

In the event of a no deal Brexit, UK organisations would be unable to access EU funding after exit day. However, the Chancellor has guaranteed that the UK Government would underwrite any EU funded projects agreed under the 2014-2020 programme period. This means that your businesses should still be able to access EU funded business support programmes until at least the end of 2020. This could potentially extend to September 2022 for Growth Hubs which receive funding from the European Regional Development programme.    

Click here for more information.


How can the Chamber support my business?

Brexit Clinics

FREE events giving local businesses an opportunity to speak with guest experts about how key aspects of Brexit might impact their organisation and what they can do to prepare.

View dates

Training courses

Ensure that your staff are fully prepared for all Brexit scenarios, whether it be in export documentation or knowing how to conduct your business deals in new markets.

View courses

Export Documentation

Are you prepared for the post brexit world with your export documentation? Learn about important documents used in international transactions, why you need them and how to complete them.

Find out more

Brexit Toolkit

FREE resources for businesses on Brexit including answers to commonly asked questions and local facts and stats

Find out more

Translations and language services

Our team can help you through various channels such as bespoke language training for new markets with specific language for your sector. We also offer interpreting and translation options to cater for your company’s or individual needs.

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Chamber Membership

Want to save up to 20%? All of our members benefit from discounted services within the documentation team and translation services as well as the expertise from the International team.

Find out more

Transatlantic Chamber

Are you looking at trading with new markets? North America is the biggest receiver of UK exports. Match your business with the relevant US state or Canadian province.

Find out more

Commonwealth Chamber

Have you explored trading with the Commonwealth? Access insight into trading with 53 countries across the globe. Take part in monthly market familiarisation sessions & gain regular insight on Commonwealth opportunities.

Find out more

If you would like: more information on how the GBCC can support businesses through Brexit, to provide a case study on your Brexit preparations, to recommend a speaker for a GBCC Brexit event, to request a GBCC speaker on Brexit or to enquire about sponsoring Brexit related research please leave your contact details below: