No deal Brexit: DFID to underwrite EU funding

The Department for International Development (DFID) today confirmed it will underwrite UK-based INGOs’ EU contracts in the event of a no deal Brexit.

In a letter to Bond, international development secretary Penny Mordaunt confirmed that that DFID will provide financial assurance for UK INGOs receiving funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), European Development Fund and the Development Cooperation instrument ODA, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. DFID will underwrite contracts awarded prior to 23 August, as well as programmes that bid for EU funding before 12 April.

Although the UK government has said it is continuing to work towards securing a deal by 12 April, a no deal Brexit is still possible. The UK is the second largest recipient of EU aid to civil society organisations, so any loss of access to funding for joint programming would be felt by the sector and those we seek to help.

Bond and its EU Funding and Policy Group worked hard in 2018-19 to obtain critical assurances for the UK development sector following Brexit. We have been liaising with DFID to inform and guide NGOs about the implications of Brexit – and mitigate the impact of any scenario.

After gathering concerns from our members on the potential repercussions of Brexit on funding, we convened our members to engage with DFID. After DFID wrote to us on its no deal preparations, we raised our concerns around the lack of reassurance, clarity or information on contingencies at a roundtable with DFID on their assurances. Bond’s concerns have also been reported to the public via many media outlets. Mordaunt’s recent assurances are a direct response to this crucial intervention.

Whether the UK leaves the EU with a deal or not, the Bond network is working to ensure the UK’s voice is heard in Europe before Brexit and after. We recently interrogated what a post-Brexit future looks like for civil society organisations with the Overseas Development Institute, Development Initiatives and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) at the Bond Conference. We will continue to update and involve you on the future of UK-EU relations around international development. Find out more about our priorities for future EU-UK cooperation.

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Read DFID’s full statement.

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