On  14th of November 2018, the negotiators of the EU Commission and the UK  agreed on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. The final version, however, is yet to be approved by the United Kingdom. Therefore, it is highly possible that on 30th of March 2019, the United Kingdom will leave the EU without a deal. In such a case, there will be no transition period and the EU law will cease to apply  to and in the UK with immediate effect. In light of the above, on  30th of January 2019, the European Commission adopted a final set of contingency measures to prepare for a “no-deal” scenario. These measures focus on the areas of the Erasmus+ programme, social security coordination and the EU budget.

Erasmus+ Programme

On 30th March 2019, there will be 14,000 young people from the EU in the UK and 7,000 from the UK in the EU participating in the Erasmus+ Programme. The proposed measures ensure that these students and trainees  will continue to take part  in the programme uninterrupted as well as to receive the relevant funding.

Social Security

The European Commission’s priority is to ensure the rights of EU citizens in the UK as well as the rights of UK citizens in the EU. The proposed measures  aim at safeguarding the entitlements of those people who exercised their right to free movement before the 30th March 2019. Therefore, the competent authorities of the EU Member States will continue to take into account periods of insurance, (self) employment or residence in the United Kingdom before withdrawal, when calculating pensions and other social security benefits.

EU Budget

This proposal protects beneficiaries of EU funding in areas, such as research and innovation. UK beneficiaries of EU funding will continue to receive  payments in 2019 for contracts  made before the 30th of March 2019, as long as the  United Kingdom  is honouring its financial responsibilities under the 2019 EU budget.


The aforementioned contingency proposals  do not replicate the full benefits of EU membership or the favourable terms of any transition period, as provided for in  the Withdrawal Agreement. They  are temporary and will be adopted by the EU.

You can read the full press release from the European Commission here.