How will Brexit affect access to 2014-2020 EU Funding Programmes?

The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 with the negotiations about the UK’s future relationship with the EU ongoing. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will continue to participate in programmes funded under the current 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF)* until their closure.

This means that the vast majority of programmes will continue to receive EU funding across the programme’s lifetime. In many cases, funding will continue until after 2020 and the end of the transition period. In addition, UK organisations can continue to bid for new grant funding under the current MFF.

Previously the UK government guaranteed EU funding to provide stability for UK organisations. The guarantee will now no longer be required. In the very limited number of cases where continued participation by the UK is not possible for security related reasons, these projects will be eligible to enter a continuation process.

The UK government’s commitment to fund the tail of CAP Pillar 2 commitments that fall outside of the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement stands. The Withdrawal Agreement also recalls the shared commitment of the EU and UK government to North South PEACE and INTERREG programmes funded under the current MFF and to the UK’s participation in the future programme.

The UK Government have identified the EU programmes in the table at the end of this article as having Scottish stakeholders. If you require further information regarding the guarantee for a specific fund, it may have a UK Government ‘Technical Notice’ linked in the table below, or you can read more about the EU Funded Programmes under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Horizon 2020 and Interreg Programmes

For stakeholders interested in more detail on the Horizon 2020 and Interreg Programmes, Scottish Enterprise (Scotland Europa team) held a webinar on Post Brexit participation for Scottish stakeholders on the 5th February 2020. You can watch back the webinar and discussion at any time.

Future association to EU funding programmes

Negotiations on regulations and financial framework for the new 2021-2028 EU Programmes is still ongoing at EU level.

The UK’s participation in the new EU Programmes is not fully clear, though we do know that a decision has been made that Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ will form part of the future negotiations between the UK and EU. The UK Government are undertaking an internal exercise to establish which EU Programmes it will seek to continue to participate in. This would involve making payments to participate in these programmes, but it would not involve a contribution to the EU budget. An agreement and budget contribution to a number of other programmes is unclear.

Scottish Government is working constructively with BEIS, MHCLG, DfE and Devolved Administration Officials on Horizon 2020, Erasmus and Interreg EU Programmes as well as the regional funds which will have a new equivalent UK funds. Scottish Ministers have a stated a “No Detriment” Principle for Scotland, which means they are seeking that the financial envelope of 2014-2020 EU funding allocations to Scotland should not be reduced.


The Scottish Government have been consulting on the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund which is planned to replace the European Regional Development Programme and the European Social Fund in the UK. That consultation closed earlier this week on the12 February 2020. The timescale for a planned UK consultation on the Shared Prosperity Fund has not yet been set.

The Scottish Government are also consulting on the future Interreg Programmes which is open until 27 March 2020.

The European Commission and the various EU Programme secretariats will launch public consultations on the future of their respective programmes once budget and regulation negotiations have been resolved at EU level. In theory, the UK Government has until the point of the regulations being adopted to decide whether it wishes to associate, though an in-principle decision to participate much sooner would be better for future relations.


Programming Period 2014-2020*

A programming period is aligned to the 7-year EU budget cycle and policy priorities for that period.

The current programming period runs from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020. The new programming period will run from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027. The Withdrawal Agreement relates solely to the current Programming Period.

Third Country

Third Countries are industrialised countries which are either not EU Member States or do not have an International agreement with the European Commission to associate to EU programmes (Associated Countries). Collaborative projects under the Horizon 2020 are ‘Open to the World’, which means that any industrialised non-EU/EEA country can still take part in collaborative projects funded under Horizon 2020, albeit without receiving money from the EU.


EU programme

UK Government Department

Contact information & Technical Notice

Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME)


Connecting Europe Facility - Communications


Connecting Europe Facility - Energy


Connecting Europe Facility - Transport


Creative Europe


UK Government


Scottish Government 

Employment and Social Innovation




Department for Education contact form


Erasmus+ in the transition period

Europe for Citizens


European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) / CAP Pillar 2


UK Government


Scottish Government


Farm payments in the transition period

European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) / CAP Pillar 1



Farm payments in the transition period

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)


European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


UK Government


Scottish Government


European Regional Development Fund in Transition Period

European Social Fund (ESF)


UK Government


Scottish Government


European Social Fund in the Transition Period

European Solidarity Corps


European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) Interreg


Northern Periphery & Artic:


Ireland-Northern Ireland-Scotland Interreg:


All other programmes:

Health for Growth


Department of Health and Social Care contact form

Horizon 2020




Research Fund for Coal and Steel




Ingrid Green - Scotland Europa