Speaking on the second anniversary of the UK's departure from the European Union, Kirsten Oswald, Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire, has backed Scottish Government calls for reassurances on post-EU regional investment.
Scottish Government Employment Minister, Richard Lochhead, warned that Scotland could lose investment in key projects if the UK Government fails to match previous funding from the European Union.
Kirsten backed the Scottish Government’s concerns saying it has become clear that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund is unlikely to fully replace the funding previously delivered to Scotland from EU structural funds, as was promised.
The Treasury Committee of the House of Commons has estimated that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is due to reach £1.5 billion a year by 2024-25, represents a 40% reduction on the amount the UK received under EU structural funds from 2014 to 2020.
“The UK suffers from some of the worst regional inequality in Europe and, two years on from Brexit, it looks like the UK Government is planning to slash structural funding targeted at addressing the problem. So much for Brexit bringing new opportunities across the UK.
“This Treasury Committee is clear that the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund is unlikely to deliver the level of funding that Scotland received from the EU, with Scottish communities and businesses losing out again because of Brexit.
“Scotland must not be penalised financially by Brexit and the UK Government should ditch its disastrous plans and provide a fair and equal share of structural funding to replace the support previously provided by the EU.”