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Office for Civil Society update: Preparing for EU Exit

31 Jan 2019 - 11:40 by michelle.foster

The Office for Civil Society (OCS) is here to support civil society during the process of EU exit. OCS want to ensure the sector has access to all of the information the government has made available on preparing for EU exit. OCS also want to ensure that civil society sector organisations have an opportunity to let the government know any views or concerns it may have. Office for Civil Society

OCS have summarised some of the latest information on preparing for EU exit below.

If you have any concerns or queries on EU exit, you can email OCS at: ocseusubteam@culture.gov.uk

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Public information campaign on EU Exit

Data Protection in a No Deal Scenario

Settled Status Scheme

EU Funding

Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps – Updated Technical Notice

Further guidance and contact

Public information campaign on EU Exit
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 well informed about how Brexit will affect them and the practical steps they will need to take to be ready.

The campaign is available at https://euexit.campaign.gov.uk/ and includes the latest advice and information on Brexit and outlines the steps that can be taken to prepare. OCS have linked to some of the main technical notices below. The full list is available here.

OCS would welcome any thoughts you may have on how to make the website more user-friendly for civil society stakeholders. The Cabinet Office has developed a very short survey where you can provide your views on the website which will influence any improvements. Please feel free to skip any questions that you do not feel apply to your organisation.

Data Protection in a No Deal Scenario
A no-deal scenario would impact how organisations ensure flows of data continue. It is important for organisations, as a priority, to review whether they would be affected.

There is specific guidance on data protection in the event of a no deal. OCS recommend that you review the government’s technical notice on data protection as well as guidance for organisations on data protection published by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

In a no deal scenario, the continued free flow of personal data between the EU and the UK is not automatic and the guidance sets out the actions UK organisations should take to enable the continued flow of personal data between the UK and the EU.

OCS are keen to understand how prepared civil society organisations are for the implications on data protection in a no deal scenario and what more Government can do to support the sector. DCMS has established a Economic Data Protection taskforce who would be happy to attend meetings with you and your members to assist with your preparations.

If you would like to contact them to ask questions or raise any issues, email: laura.kennedy@culture.gov.uk

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 government has been clear that it will protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK, whether or not the UK reaches a final deal with the EU. For more information on immigration in the event of a no deal, please review the latest policy guidance, which has been recently published by the Home Office.

The settled status scheme is open to some EU citizens and their family members now. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019. On 21 January the Prime Minister announced that there will be no fee when the scheme opens fully on 30 March 2019.

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

EU Funding
Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK entities' right to participate in EU programmes during the current Multiannual Financial Framework period will be unaffected. UK based organisations will be able to bid for funding, participate in and lead consortia, until programme closure in 2020.

In 2016, the Chancellor announced that in the event of no deal 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. The guarantee now covers the following:
• the full 2014-20 Multiannual Financial Framework allocation for structural and investment funds
• the payment of awards where UK organisations successfully bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis while we remain in the EU
• the payment of awards under successful bids where UK organisations are able to participate as a third country in competitive grant programmes from Exit day until the end of 2020
• the current level of agricultural funding under CAP Pillar 1 until 2020.

For awards where UK organisations successfully bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis, the government will work with the Commission to ensure that UK organisations will be able to continue to participate.

More information about the guarantee and funding for specific EU programmes 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 – Updated Technical Notice
The Government has issued an updated Technical Notice providing guidance to organisations and individuals on the UK’s anticipated participation in the current Erasmus+ (2014-2020) and European Solidarity Corps (ESC) (2018-2020) programmes after the UK leaves the EU.

The government recommends that applications are submitted as normal for the upcoming deadlines for funding in respect of the 2019 Call for Proposals, for both Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). This will ensure that organisations and individuals can take part in the programme if a withdrawal agreement is in place. At the same time, organisations should take note of the scenarios outlined in the Technical Notice as part of their business planning.

View the National Agency for more information.

Both programmes offer fantastic opportunities for funding in the youth sector, and as delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the government’s top priority, OCS continue to encourage organisations to apply.

Further guidance and contact
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) published a Brexit fact sheet and checklist for the voluntary sector in October 2018

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