The decision by Brussels has led to accusations that the EU is willing to put the lives of the poorest at risk to maintain its federalist ideology.
Officials for Martin Selmayr, the senior aide to the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, have put disclaimers in aid contracts telling UK charities that they will be dropped as a partner in programmes if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
The notes state: “For British applicants: Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant.
“If the UK withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible to participate) or be required to leave the project.”
Claire Godfrey at Bond, the UK network that represents 400 international development non-governmental organisations, said the commission had misunderstood the eligibility criteria for British NGOs to access funding if there is no deal.
“It will be the people who benefit from the humanitarian response who will bear the brunt of this,” she added.