The Government has announced that projects funded by money from Europe will be guaranteed support until the end of 2020 even if the UK fails to secure a Brexit deal, although there is little detail around this commitment.
Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has also outlined the principles around the UK shared prosperity fund (UKSPF), a pot that will replace the EU’s structural investment funds. However, critics are concerned that the size of this pot and how the funding will be distributed has not been made clear.
Mr Brokenshire has said that the Government guarantees that projects will receive European funds before the UK leaves the EU, even in the event of a ‘no deal Brexit’.
Moreover, he added that this will ensure that organisations such as charities, businesses and universities continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before December 2020.
A fellow Conservative MP described the move as a “positive step” that will provide certainty that there will be no gap between EU funding streams and any domestic replacements.
He added that Brexit must not leave local areas facing huge financial uncertainty as a result of lost regional aid funding. This funding has been used by local areas to create jobs, support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), deliver skills training, invest in critical transport and digital infrastructure, and boost inclusive growth across the country.
However, he also insisted that if the Government wants to ensure that the UK has an economy fit for the future, ministers must act immediately to consult on the detail of what the UKSPF will look like when it replaces current funding.
Nigel Fry, Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “There is still much uncertainty surrounding what Britain might look like post-Brexit and what our departure from the EU will mean for funding.
“Mr Brokenshire’s comments suggest that certain safeguards will be in place, but businesses should nevertheless be prepared for all possible eventualities.”
For more information about how Milsted Langdon can help, please contact Nigel at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01823 445566.