UK Participation in Horizon 2020: overview with Q&A

Posted on: 05/03/2018

An overview of the implications of the Joint Report on progress during the first Brexit phase for the UK’s relationship with Horizon 2020.

The European Council formally agreed on 15 December that sufficient progress had been made to move on to the second stage of Brexit negotiations and the UK and EU have committed to translating the Joint Report into a legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement as soon as possible. The European Commission published their version of draft legal text on 28 February.  The UK continues to stand behind the commitments made in December and will work with the Commission to agree how they should be translated into legal form in the Withdrawal Agreement.


The Joint Report states:

“following withdrawal from the Union the UK will continue to participate in the Union programmes financed by the MFF 2014-2020 until their closure (excluding participation in financial operations which give rise to a contingent liability for which the UK is not liable as from the date of withdrawal). Entities located in the UK will be entitled to participate in such programmes. Participation in Union programmes will require the UK and UK beneficiaries to respect all relevant Union legal provisions including co-financing. Accordingly, the eligibility to apply to participate in Union programmes and Union funding for UK participants and projects will be unaffected by the UK‚Äôs withdrawal from the Union for the entire lifetime of such projects.”

Horizon 2020 is one of the Union programmes covered by this text.

The UK Government encourages the UK research and innovation (R&I) community to continue applying for Horizon 2020 funding and participating in Horizon 2020 projects because:

  • Until our departure from the EU, we remain a Member State, with all the rights and obligations that entails. This means that UK entities are eligible to participate in all aspects of the Horizon 2020 programme while we remain a member of the EU.
  • The UK and the EU fully intend UK entities‚Äô eligibility in Horizon 2020 to remain unchanged for the duration of the programme, as set out in the Joint Report. This includes eligibility to participate in all Horizon 2020 projects and to receive Horizon 2020 funding for the lifetime of projects.
  • The Government‚Äôs underwrite guarantee remains in place in the event that commitments made in the Joint Report are not met.

For more information, and Q & A’s, click here.

Share this article


Connect with Innovate UK Business Connect

Join Innovate UK Business Connect's mailing list to receive updates on funding opportunities, events and to access Innovate UK Business Connect's deep expertise. Please check your email to confirm your subscription and select your area(s) of interest.