Continued funding for bilateral peace programmes in the event of no-deal Brexit 

Press Releases 
  • Extend support for peace and reconciliation under the "Good Friday Agreement"
  • Avoid difficulties in Northern Ireland and the border areas of Ireland
  • Maintain funding at least until the end of current programming period (2014-2020)

Parliament adopts in plenary the continuation of the two territorial cooperation programmes PEACE IV and United Kingdom-Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

MEPs agreed to the Commission’s proposal for a derogation allowing the continuation of the two cooperation programmes involving Ireland and the United Kingdom. The programmes play an important part in building positive cross-border relations and in further integrating divided communities.

The adopted rules aim to allow continued funding, at least until the end of the current 2014-2020 programming period, without modifying the amounts allocated to the two programmes nor their management procedures.

Therefore, should the UK leave the EU without a deal:

  • Funding to Northern Ireland (and the parts of western Scotland covered by the United Kingdom-Ireland cooperation programme) would continue as provided for in the INTERREG Regulation.
  • The standard rule, which provides that no more of 20% of a cooperation programme’s budget may be spent outside the EU, would not apply to these two programmes, as spending in Northern Ireland would otherwise be restricted.

Next steps

Negotiations with the Council should allow for a swift agreement and the legislation is expected to be published before the date of the withdrawal.


PEACE IV (Ireland-United Kingdom; €270m) programme and the United Kingdom-Ireland (Ireland-Northern Ireland-Scotland; €283m) programme are two bilateral cooperation programmes involving Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland aimed at supporting peace and reconciliation and North-South cooperation under the "Good Friday Agreement". The withdrawal of the United Kingdom without an agreement would cause particular difficulties in Northern Ireland and the border areas of Ireland, as their status is dependent on both parts of the island being in the European Union, with open borders.