Preparing for Brexit

We are working with members, the government and the EU to ensure that UK NGOs are prepared, whatever the outcome of Brexit.

We are also working to ensure NGOs have a voice in determining the future of UK and EU development cooperation.

Deal or no deal, Brexit must not leave people across the world, who face poverty and conflict, any worse off. Any Brexit outcome must allow the UK to work with our European and global partners to contribute to delivering the sustainable development goals.

Here is the latest government guidance and sector insights to ensure your NGO is prepared for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

What has the government offered?

In September, the secretary of state for international development Alok Sharma once again reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure that UK civil society organisations (CSOs) which lead and deliver humanitarian and development projects via the European Commission are eligible to apply for UK government financial assurance before 31 October.

What you need to provide DFID when applying for assurance

If you are requesting approval from DFID for a project to be included in the fund you will need to:

  • fill in this spreadsheet and send to [email protected]
  • notify DFID of the date on which your organisation applied for funding and on the date on which the EU awards the grant
  • await confirmation from DFID that your application for assurance has been successful

If you have applied for financial assurance prior to this Technical Notice being updated on 29 March 2019, there is no need to re-apply

Funding in case of a Brexit no deal

CARE International UK is managing the assurance process for DFID. Once your request has been approved by DFID, CARE will work with you to agree a contract and schedule of payments to be used in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Please can you:

  • ensure that CARE have accurate and update information about your project.
  • share cashflow predictions.
  • declare any ongoing fraud, safeguarding or other incidents related to the projects.

CARE will be providing DFID with policy advice on match funding, serious incident management and audit, considering the increased scale of the fund. The team will also be working across the UK INGO sector to ensure DFID knows how many NGOs will need access to funding, how much and by when.

CARE can be contacted on [email protected]

How to prepare your organisation when the UK leaves the EU

Use the government’s get ready for Brexit tool to understand how leaving the EU could affect your organisation and what you can do to prepare.

Here is some additional information which you may find helpful:

Get updates on funding and Brexit

The Bond EU Funding and Policy Group is where we are sharing all the funding information. Make sure you sign up and get information on the Brexit fund automatically.

To engage with Bond to inform what the future relationship with the EU should look like please sign up to the Brexit working group.

Upcoming events

Questions over how Brexit will effect your funding? Victoria Wickenden, Head of programmes at CARE International UK will be at Bond’s Funding for Development Conference on 7 October 2019, along with DFID, to help clarify DFID’s underwriting. Sign up now.

Future UK-EU development cooperation

Brexit should be about redefining the UK’s role in the world positively, by championing international development and aid that prioritises the needs of those who are unfairly excluded from global growth and prosperity – in partnership with our neighbours across the globe.

The UK government has outlined what a future foreign policy, defense and development partnership could look like and has stated its commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and help build ‘prosperity, peace and stability’.

Bond has been working with colleagues across the sector to map out the potential impact of Brexit on UK and EU international development, as well as humanitarian policy, funding and options for maximising UK-European civil society collaboration in a Brexit context.

When it comes to UK-EU development cooperation, Bond believes the UK government should:

  • Continue to work in close partnership with the EU, bilaterally and multilaterally, via an agreed framework for development cooperation and a clearly outlined ‘values-driven foreign policy’, regardless of the eventual outcome of Brexit.
  • Provide greater clarity on which EU development funds it intends to contribute to post-Brexit, how this will work in practice, and how it intends to use returning Official Development Assistance (ODA) no longer able to be spent through the EU – including clarity of the timing of when the UK’s ODA commitments to EU lapse.
  • Continue to advocate strongly for the EU to ensure development instruments within its new Budget for 2021-7 are more flexible and open to third country participation, providing this does not negatively impact the quality of aid spending.
  • Ensure that EU aid remains focused on the core principles of poverty reduction and sustainable development, by using all its channels pre- and post-Brexit to influence ongoing European international development policy negotiations.
  • Actively engage and consult with UK civil society in all negotiations with the EU on development cooperation and the wider UK-EU relationship, and support it to have a continued voice at the European level, particularly where the UK contributes funds or is engaged in any development partnerships with the EU institutions and/or Member States at a bilateral level (also including trade, security, environment etc).
  • Ensure UK civil society organisations get fair access and oversight to any future EU development and humanitarian funds to which the UK contributes, and to those open to all OECD country-based organisations.
  • Commit to meaningful conversations with CSOs and other stakeholders on the implications of DFID staff secondments to deal with a no deal Brexit, and provide more clarity on the proposed scale and phasing of such secondments, as well as on which activities will be deprioritised given this Department’s reduced capacity.

Bond is also an active member of CONCORD, the European platform for development and humanitarian NGOs, including as a Board Member.

Areas that Bond believes the UK and the EU should prioritise in their future relationship include:

  • Supporting each other to maintain the integrity of OECD-DAC rules on aid spending, as well as reducing the amount of formally or informally “tied aid”, and increasing transparency and accountability of aid spending.
  • Working in partnership to meet shared international commitments and agreements, in particular the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Taking every step possible to ensure countries in the global south, particularly the poorest countries, are not held hostage to UK-EU Brexit negotiations. This could be achieved through a pre-agreed framework for development and humanitarian action post-Brexit, in line with the European Consensus on Development.
  • Mainstreaming gender equality and rights of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised across the UK and EU’s development programmes. This should include a much-strengthened joint commitment to international human rights.
  • Sharing technical expertise, resources and staff.
  • Ensuring other domestic and international policies do not undermine the impact of aid spending and are coherent with the objectives of sustainable development, particularly tax, trade, migration, security, environment and climate policies.

Brexit resources and information

This report proposes options for UK-European civil society organisation collaboration for Brexit.

This parliamentary insight paper considers possibilities for UK overseas aid spending in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The UK’s agreed date to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019 is fast approaching. What can NGOs do to prepare?

This study focuses on the impact of Brexit on UK CSOs’ access to EU funding, which was worth €356.9m in 2016.

An update on the Brexit situation and what we want to see from the negotiations to ensure the best deal for the world’s poorest people.

Summarising the current Brexit situation facing the UK development sector, what might happen now and Bond’s priorities for the year.

This report explores in detail potential impacts and opportunities associated with Brexit

With no-deal brexit still a very real possibility, what can UK NGOs do to ensure they get access to DFID’s assurance policy?

The UK government’s commitment to underwrite EU humanitarian funding is welcomed but a post-Brexit agreement needs to ensure that collaboration and shared learning can continue.