London: The UK government has promised to replace European Union (EU) funding for farmers, scientists and other projects after Britain's exit from the bloc in June. According to Chancellor Philip Hammond the move could cost up to 4.5 billion pounds (about $5.8 billion) a year. The Treasury will guarantee to back EU-funded projects signed before the end of this year, the BBC reported on Saturday. Agricultural funding now provided by the EU will also continue until 2020. "The government will also match the current level of agricultural funding until 2020, providing certainty to our agricultural community, which play a vital role in our country," Hammond said. "We are determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU and that we use the opportunities that departure presents to determine our own priorities," the BBC quoted the Chancellor as saying. The UK currently pays money into the EU budget, which will stop once it formally leaves the bloc. In 2015, the UK government paid 13 billion pounds and EU spending on Britain was 4.5 billion pounds, meaning the country's net contribution was estimated at about 8.5 billion, the BBC added.