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UK Government guarantees EU-funded programmes in Gibraltar

An anti-Brexit demonstrator protests outside the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London, Britain, February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The Gibraltar Government has set out how the UK government’s guarantee for EU-funded programmes will apply to Gibraltar, if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

In a statement the Government explained that until the UK leaves the EU, the UK remains a member state, with all the rights and obligations that includes.

The UK and Gibraltar will therefore continue to participate in EU programmes while the UK remains a member of the EU.

Additionally, and as agreed as part of the UK financial settlement with the EU, Gibraltar will continue to take part in all EU programmes after 29 March 2019 for the rest of the 2014 to 2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

But in the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK along with Gibraltar will leave the EU Budget in March 2019.

Without further action, this would mean Gibraltar could lose future funding for existing projects under EU programmes.

However, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer has agreed that the UK government will guarantee funding for specific EU projects.

“This will provide certainty for Gibraltar and participating organisations over the course of our EU exit,” No.6 Convent Place said.

This guarantee covers: the EU Structural Funds that Gibraltar receives as part of the 2014-20 Multiannual Financial Framework allocation – the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), and European Territorial Cooperation programmes (a sub-fund of Structural Funds that involves cross-border projects).

The UK government’s guarantee ensures that Gibraltar will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes while the UK remains a member of the EU, and, where access is available, before the end of 2020.

In November, the European Union and the United Kingdom concluded the terms of an agreement for the orderly departure of the UK from the European Union. Gibraltar was part of that agreement.

The Withdrawal Agreement includes a transitional phase until the end of 2020, which also covers Gibraltar.

This agreement is subject to ratification by the UK Parliament and by the European Parliament.

In the meantime, planning continues for the eventuality that the UK and Gibraltar leave the European Union without this agreement, the Government said.

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