Government to honour Erasmus+ payments in event of 'no deal' Brexit

By Joe Lepper

| 24 August 2018

The Department for Education has pledged to honour funding awards through the European Union's Erasmus+ training and study programme for the next two years, even if there is a no deal Brexit.

Between 2014 and 2020 around £800m of funding is being made available to UK participants of the Erasmus+ programme

DfE guidance published this week states that the UK government is committed to being involved with the current programme, which runs from 2014 to 2020.

The guidance says that youth groups and other organisations should continue to bid for Erasmus+ funding, with the next round of funding open for applications in October.

All awards made to bids submitted before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU in March 2019 will be honoured and those awards made after 29 March 2019 and until the end of 2020 will be underwritten by the UK government even if there is no deal, the guidance confirms.

"This means that where UK organisations are eligible to participate in the Erasmus+ grant programme from 29 March 2019 until the end of 2020, they will also receive funding from successful bids in a 'no deal' scenario," states the guidance.

"The government is seeking to discuss and agree with the EU the terms under which UK organisations could be eligible for this extension of the underwrite guarantee to apply."

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However, the UK's long-term involvement in the programme beyond 2020 remains uncertain.

The programme began 30 years ago to offer participants the chance to study, work, volunteer, teach and train abroad.

In 2017, youth organisations, including the National Youth Agency (NYA), the National Union of Students and YouthLink Scotland, launched a lobbying campaign urging the government to protect the involvement of UK organisations in Erasmus+ post-Brexit.

Leigh Middleton, managing director of the NYA said: "The National Youth Agency welcomes the commitment from the government to support Erasmus projects. The NYA with our partner Momentum World has been working with the youth sector to provide guidance on what comes next when the current Erasmus programme comes to its natural end.

"We are encouraged that there is a desire to see a future for international youth work opportunities for young people. We ask that a broader range of opportunities are enabled across the whole world as well as with our partners across Europe."

Since the programme's launch, more than 600,000 UK participants have benefitted. Between 2014 and 2020 around £800m of funding is being made available to UK participants.

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