Erasmus+ in the UK and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) if there's no Brexit deal

Updated 29 January 2019

This guidance was withdrawn on

This content is out of date and should not be followed.

Current guidance is available on the Erasmus+ national agency website.

You can also read about the transition period.

Leaving the EU with a deal remains the government’s top priority. This has not changed.

However, a responsible government must plan for every eventuality, including a no deal scenario. We are intensifying and accelerating no deal planning to ensure we are fully prepared.

In December, cabinet agreed to proceed with the government’s next phase of no deal planning. This means we are setting in motion our remaining no deal plans. We recommend that businesses and individuals now also ensure they are prepared, and enact their own no deal plans as they judge necessary.

This notice replaces the previous Erasmus+ technical notice published on 23 August 2018.


This notice provides guidance to organisations and participants on the UK’s anticipated participation in the current Erasmus+ programme (2014 to 2020) and the European Solidarity Corps (ESC)(2018 to 2020) in the event of no deal [footnote 1].

Applications for the 2019 Call for Proposals

We continue to recommend that applications are submitted to the European Commission or UK National Agency for the 2019 Erasmus+ and ESC Call for Proposals as normal.

Planning for a deal

In the event that the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement in place, the UK will participate in Erasmus+ and the ESC until the end of the current cycle in 2020. EU funding for UK participants and projects will be unaffected for the entire lifetime of projects, including those that extend beyond 2020. It is important that UK organisations and participants are in a position to benefit from the UK’s continued participation in Erasmus+ and ESC.

Planning for no deal

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK will engage with the European Commission with the aim of securing the UK’s continued full participation in Erasmus+ and ESC until 2020. There are a range of options for the UK’s continued participation in Erasmus+ and ESC, including programme country status, partner country status or another arrangement [footnote 2]. Partner country access to Erasmus+ varies between different regional groups [footnote 3].

The government aims to minimise the impact on projects in a no deal scenario. We will work closely with the National Agency to update organisations when more information is available from the European Commission. Home organisations will keep participants updated on any changes.

The government underwrite guarantee

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the government’s underwrite guarantee will cover the payment of awards to UK applicants for all successful Erasmus+ and ESC bids. Successful bids are those that are approved directly by the European Commission or by the National Agency[footnote 4] and ratified by the European Commission. This includes projects and participants that are only informed of their success, or who sign a grant agreement, after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and commits to underwrite funding for the entire lifetime of the projects.

The government will need to reach agreement with the EU for UK organisations to continue participating in Erasmus+ and ESC projects and is seeking to hold these discussions with the EU. If discussions with the Commission to secure UK organisations’ continued ability to participate in the programme are unsuccessful, the government will engage with Member States and key institutions to seek to ensure UK participants can continue with their planned activity.

In these circumstances, UK organisations may wish to consider bilateral arrangements with partner organisations that would enable their projects to continue. The government will provide funding for projects that were approved directly by the European Commission or by the National Agency and ratified by the European Commission prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU to continue in this form, should it become necessary.

The guarantee covers funding committed to UK organisations. It does not cover funding committed to partners and participants in other Member States and other participating countries. This means that where a UK organisation is the lead member of a partnership, any funding it distributes to non-UK associated beneficiaries is not covered by the guarantee.

Administration of the government guarantee

The National Agency will administer the government guarantee on behalf of the government.

Organisations will need to initiate claims through the Grants Management Function accessed through GOV.UK and it is anticipated that registration for Erasmus+ and ESC claims will be available from late February 2019. Organisations will be required to provide details of their EU funding entitlement and evidence that their Erasmus+ or ESC project will be able to continue following the UK exit from the EU as part of the claim process.

More information

Up-to-date information relating to UK participation in Erasmus+ and the ESC in the context of our exit from the EU can be found on the Erasmus+ National Agency’s website.

Further information about ESC can be found on the ESC National Agency website.

Full information about the Erasmus+ programme can be found on the Erasmus+ website.

Alternatively, contact:

This notice is meant for guidance only. You should consider whether you need separate professional advice before making specific preparations.

  1. This also includes the European Universities Initiative. 

  2. Currently, the only countries which have Programme Country Status, are EU member states, candidate countries for accession to the Union and those European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries which form part of the European Economic Area (EEA). This includes Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Turkey, Liechtenstein, and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    See the Erasmus+ Programme Guide 2019 for more information. 

  3. See the European Commission’s list of Partner Country Regions for more information. 

  4. The National Agency is delegated by the European Commission to deliver the Erasmus+ programme in the UK.