July 9, 2019
Published: International Accounting Bulletin
The European Council has adopted contingency measures on the implementation and financing of the 2019 EU budget in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The aim of the measures is to mitigate the impact of a no-deal scenario for funding in a wide range of areas such as research and agriculture.
The measures will enable the EU to continue making payments to UK beneficiaries for contracts signed and decisions made before the withdrawal date, as long as the UK continues paying its contribution agreed in the EU budget for 2019. The European Parliament gave its consent to the contingency framework in April.
A no-deal scenario does not affect the basic principle that the EU27 and the UK should honour the financial commitments they have both made together. The measures agreed by the Council will benefit UK individuals and entities, and avoid possible disruptions to other beneficiaries of EU funding.
Under the agreed contingency framework, the UK would have to confirm in writing that it will contribute to the financing of the 2019 EU budget as adopted. It would also have to accept the necessary controls and audits for the EU programmes and actions, and make the first payment to the EU budget for the period after its withdrawal. Only if these conditions are met would the eligibility for financing by the EU budget in 2019 of the UK and UK-entities be maintained.
Assuming the UK makes its contribution for the entire year of 2019, UK entities would be eligible to take partin calls, tenders, contests or other procedures which may lead to financing from the EU budget, except in specific cases related to security and to the loss of the UK’s membership of the European Investment Bank.
In addition, the contingency measures allow for the continued financing of beneficiaries in EU member states where their eligibility depends on the UK’s membership of the EU, provided that the relevant legal contracts and decisions have been signed or adopted before the UK’s withdrawal.
The contingency framework would cease to apply if the UK discontinues the payments or where significant deficiencies have been observed in the execution of the controls and audits. The contingency measures are intended to keep the relative shares of the EU27 member states in financing the 2019 EU budget unaffected.