Image: Wikimedia Image: Wikimedia

It was one of the most discussed aspects of the EU referendum debate: The UK’s contribution to the EU budget.

Now the government has announced plans to ensure many of the regions and sectors of the UK that previously benefited from the EU budget, will continue to do so.

Chancellor, Philip Hammond made the announcements.

The Treasury said: “All structural and investment fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded, even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.”

It continued: “The Treasury will also put in place arrangements for assessing whether to guarantee funding for specific structural and investment fund projects that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while we remain a member of the EU. Further details will be provided ahead of the Autumn Statement.”

And finally it said: “Where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.”

So what does this all mean?

Mr Hammond also guaranteed that the current level of agricultural funding under CAP Pillar 1 will be upheld until 2020, as part of the transition to new domestic arrangements.

Mr Hammond said: “The UK will continue to have all of the rights, obligations and benefits that membership brings, including receiving European funding, up until the point we leave the EU.

“We recognise that many organisations across the UK which are in receipt of EU funding, or expect to start receiving funding, want reassurance about the flow of funding they will receive.

“That is why I am confirming that structural and investment funds projects signed before the Autumn Statement and Horizon research funding granted before we leave the EU will be guaranteed by the Treasury after we leave. The government will also match the current level of agricultural funding until 2020, providing certainty to our agricultural community, which play a vital role in our country.

“We are determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU and that we use the opportunities that departure presents to determine our own priorities.”