Brexit update

Updated on 10 November 2017 - 13:30

This page provides information on UK participation in Erasmus+ in the context of the triggering of Article 50, the process for beginning the UK’s exit from the European Union (also known as Brexit). It was updated on 10 November, following further information from the UK Government. 

The National Agency for Erasmus+ in the UK, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK, remains wholly committed to the Erasmus+ programme and its benefits. The National Agency strongly supports continued full membership of the programme for the UK through to 2020 as planned, under the proposed Brexit implementation period, so that at least 250,000 people across the UK have the chance to study, train or volunteer abroad, and that UK organisations can continue to collaborate on international projects.

We have been working closely with the UK National Authority (the Department for Education) to ensure that accurate information on Erasmus+ activity in the UK is provided to UK Government. The National Agency has a mandate to cover all sectors of the programme, and will continue to liaise with UK Government to ensure that higher education, vocational education and training, schools, adult education and youth activities are represented equitably. We will continue to update our website as information becomes available and remain the most accurate source of information on Erasmus+ in the UK for our beneficiaries. 

Information for UK organisations applying for funding

In 2017 the Erasmus+ programme reached the halfway mark in the UK with 500 million euro allocated to projects and activities since 2014. This year has been a very successful year for the programme with over 136 million euro of funding allocated in the first two application rounds.

The UK Government has stated publicly that the United Kingdom is committed to continuing full participation in the Erasmus+ programme up until we leave the European Union. It will underwrite successful bids for Erasmus+ that are submitted while the UK is still a Member State, even if they are not approved until after we leave, and/or payments continue beyond the point of exit.

Practical details regarding how this will be implemented will be discussed with the Department for Education (the UK’s Erasmus+ National Authority) over the coming months. In the meantime the Government encourages UK applicants to continue to apply for funding until we leave the EU.

Successful Erasmus+ applicants in 2017 will be awarded funding for the full duration of their projects, and all beneficiaries should continue their projects with their partners as usual through to completion. 

UK organisations wishing to apply for funding in 2018 should prepare for participation as usual ahead of the 2018 application deadlines. The 2018 Call for Proposals was published on 25 October 2017. 

Information for organisations partnering with the UK

The UK continues to be a full member of the EU until the point it leaves as stated in the Prime Minister’s letter triggering Article 50, which says that “We will of course continue to fulfil our responsibilities as a member state while we remain a member of the European Union”. The European Commission and European Parliament have confirmed that during negotiations under Article 50, European Union treaties and law continue to apply to the UK, and this applies to projects financed through Erasmus+.

The future of the programme

We cannot speculate on any possible future scenarios following the UK’s exit from the EU, but we note the Government position is that UK participation in some EU programmes ‘promoting science, education and culture’ may continue subject to the negotiation as stated in the Prime Minister’s speech delivered in Florence on 22 September 2017.

Receive the latest information on Erasmus+ and Brexit

We will continue to update this page with news and information related to the UK’s participation in the Erasmus+ programme. We recommend that you sign up to our newsletter or follow @erasmusplusuk on Twitter for the latest developments.

This year also marks 30 years of Erasmus+ and we are collecting inspiring stories and continuing the journey of Erasmus+. You can view our dedicated 30 years of Erasmus+ page or follow the conversation #ErasmusPlus30 #ErasmusPlusEffect on social media.