Get Ready for Brexit

The government has launched a public information campaign to ensure that UK citizens, businesses, civil society organisations, EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU are fully informed about how Brexit will affect them and the practical steps they will need to take to be ready.

The campaign is available at and includes the latest advice and information on Brexit and outlines the steps that can be taken to prepare via a short online checker. We have linked to some of the main guidance below. The full list is available here.

DCMS has produced specific guidance for civil society organisations which has the five ways they can prepare for Brexit. Further guidance for DCMS sectors can be found via this dedicated collection page.

NCVO and DCMS held a free webinar on the practical steps you need to take to prepare. It can be found online here.

The Government is holding roadshows around the country for organisations to find out more about how to get ready for Brexit, make sure to sign up here.

Data Protection in a No Deal Scenario

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK organisations will still need to be compliant with data protection law (GDPR) and you will need to make changes to your contracts to continue receiving personal data legally from the EU/EEA.

Follow the guidance on at for using personal data in your organisation.

Some organisations may be unaware that they receive personal data from the EU. Personal data flows take many forms, including:

• Any HR/back office functions you may have outsourced
• Names and addresses of partners and suppliers
• Even data transfers within your own organisation, if you have operations in Europe

If you fail to act, your organisation may lose access to personal data it needs to operate. Consult the ICO guidance and review your contracts to ensure your organisation can continue receiving personal data from the EU/EEA.

Settled Status Scheme

The government has committed to safeguarding the rights of EU nationals residing in the UK. EU citizens will be entitled to apply for ‘settled status’ in the UK, enabling them to continue to work and reside in Britain. 

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. For more information please review the Settled Status Scheme website.

For more information on immigration in the event of a no deal, please review the latest policy guidance  published by the Home Office.

EU Funding

In a deal scenario, the UK will leave the EU on terms agreed by both parties. This agreement will set out the nature of UK/EU collaboration immediately after Brexit, as well as setting the terms for negotiations about the longer term relationship. Creative Europe and other EU funding programmes are expected to be a part of any such agreement.

In the event of a no-deal the Chancellor announced in August and October 2016 that the government will guarantee EU projects agreed before we leave the EU, to provide more certainty for UK organisations over the course of EU Exit. In July 2018, the Chief Secretary laid a Written Ministerial Statement extending this guarantee. If there’s no Brexit deal, the government has guaranteed to:

• cover the payment of awards where UK organisations successfully bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis while we remain in the EU (ie before Exit day), for the lifetime of the project
• cover the payment of awards where UK organisations successfully bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis to participate as a third country after Exit, and until the end of 2020, for the lifetime of the project

Successful bids are those that are approved directly by the European Commission, or the relevant EU agency acting on its behalf.

If there’s no Brexit deal the continued participation in programmes is likely to require the agreement of the EU.

The UK government guarantee does not cover funding committed to partners and participants in other Member States and other participating countries. This includes projects where a UK organisation is the lead member of a consortium. Any funding it distributes to non-UK associated beneficiaries are not covered by the guarantee.

As part of a ‘final set’ of no deal contingency measures published on 30 January 2019, the Commission proposed a draft regulation that would allow the UK to continue participating in EU programmes, in return for continuing to contribute to the 2019 budget as if a Member State. The government is currently analysing this proposal.

If you currently receive funding through the EU funded programmes overseen by DCMS, Creative Europe or Europe for Citizens, and have not yet provided DCMS with details of your grant, register each project with us as soon as possible by:

• sending us a copy of the original application you made to the EU and grant agreement to the address,
• submitting project information on the DCMS online registration form.

This email address and form will remain open after the UK leaves the EU so that UK applicants can continue to register their projects with DCMS.

For other programmes, including the European Social Fund, more information about the guarantee and funding is available in the technical notice on EU funded programmes. This includes the lead department and contact point for each individual EU programme.

Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps (ESC)

You may need to make a claim against the HMG guarantee if your organisation receives EU funding for Erasmus+ and ESC projects.

In the event that the UK leaves the EU with no agreement in place, the HMG 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 UK National Agency and ratified by the European Commission. 

Erasmus+ and ESC funding will continue as normal until the end of the programme in 2020, if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

You should continue to submit funding applications to the European Commission (EC) or the UK National Agency as you would do normally. Only organisations with successful bids can make a claim against the HMG guarantee. 

For more information and to register for the HMG guarantee click here.

Further guidance

You may also wish to review the following sources of information: 

• Customs, excise, VAT and regulatory changes you need to know about if there is no deal
• Public sector procurement in a no deal scenario
• The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) recently published a No Deal guide and there is also the Brexit fact sheet and checklist.
• If you provide online services within the European Economic Area (EEA), you may have to newly comply with rules governing online activities within these countries if there is a no deal Brexit. For more information please read our no deal guidance on the eCommerce Directive.
• If you hold a .eu domain name, or are considering registering for one, read our no deal guidance on .eu domain names for information about the eligibility criteria and what to do in a no deal Brexit.

For more information about events on preparing for Brexit click here.