UK's departure from the EU: Q&A
The Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK means that projects will be able to continue as planned, under the same arrangements and rules as before. If the end of the transition period means any changes for your project, the JS will contact you immediately. For now, you should carry on delivering your project as planned; the following questions may help if you have specific queries.
Can I still participate in my project from 1 January 2021?
The Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU confirms that 2014-20 ETC programmes will be able to continue with UK project partners, and UK project partners can continue delivering their projects in line with existing programme rules and timescales.
Can I bid for more money in currently open or future funding calls? How about making other changes to my project within the project lifetime?
Yes. The Withdrawal Agreement between the EU means that UK organisations can still apply for funding and can deliver projects until project closure. UK organisations can and should continue to secure funding and deliver successful projects for the current programming period. Changes can be made to the project as long as you follow the rules and procedures of the programme.
Can I stop doing some administration or audit tasks after 1 January 2021?
The Withdrawal Agreement means that your project can continue as planned, including under the existing terms of your contract. You are still subject to the same eligibility rules as set out in your contract, you still have to follow all audit and first level control requirements, and you will remain liable for any irregular expenditure that you claim.
Will I still be able to do all the activities in my contract from 1 January 2021?
The Withdrawal Agreement means that your project is still able to continue, and please be reassured that the programme wants to support you to deliver successfully. If you are concerned that you may no longer be able to undertake some activities in full, you should discuss this with your JS contact.
Will all existing expenditure still be eligible?
Your project can continue as planned under the existing terms of your contract, and all expenditure remains eligible providing it is delivered in line with the programme eligibility rules as set out in your contract. You will still have to follow all audit and first level control requirements, and you will remain liable for any irregular expenditure that you claim.
Will additional banking / transaction fees from January be eligible?
Office and administrative expenditure, which includes bank charges for administering an account, is covered by your existing overheads budget line, i.e. a flat rate of [15%] of each partner's staff costs.
Will any additional costs related to the movement of people be eligible? Will any additional costs related to the movement of goods be eligible?
If there are any such additional costs, these would be eligible for your project provided they are in line with programme rules and the terms of your contract. You may want to speak with your JS officer to clarify any specifics relating to your project.
Please be aware that the expectation is that you manage this within your existing project budget; any requests for shifting funding between budget lines to accommodate these costs would need to be managed through the programme’s changes module.
Can I still hold my .eu domain name from 1 January 2021?
Guidance on this is contained here, and this will apply to all UK organisations. You should follow the advice, including to contact your domain registrar to understand what this means for you. You should also contact your Lead Partner or Joint Secretariat contact to seek their advice. Given that the vast majority of North Sea Region projects solely use the webspaces embedded in the Programme’s website, this will not be a problem for most projects.
A number of UK-based ETC project partners have already transferred domain registrations to one of their EU project partners, and this may be something that you wish you explore within your project.
Will there be changes to how can I store, access and share data as part of my work in the project? What do I do if data can no longer be shared and my planned project activities cannot proceed as normal?
If the UK and the EU reach a data sharing agreement to enable the free flow of data, you can continue sharing data within your project. However, if no agreement is reached, you may be unable to do so in the same way you do now. The programme will ensure you are kept up-to-date on this, and will provide any further guidance as necessary. More information is available here.
Will I still be granted access to programme IT systems via their portals?
Yes, you will still be able to access the programme IT systems you need to be able to manage your project and receive payment.
Can you confirm that we can continue as lead partner for the project whatever happens? Will it still be acceptable for a UK Lead Partner to undertake all the functions and responsibilities or should we now look to find a lead partner from a Member State?
The Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU means that the UK will continue to participate in current programmes until they end. UK organisations currently acting as lead partners in projects should therefore continue to undertake all functions and responsibilities as at present.
We will update this information if we receive further information from the UK Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government or from the European Commission.
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