THE TREASURY has confirmed it is looking at how European funding worth hundreds of millions of pounds to the region will be replaced after Brexit, following pressure from a Yorkshire MP.
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe has revealed officials are working on how regions such as Yorkshire will be helped once the money from Brussels stops.
But Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis has urged Ministers to go further and promise support will continue at its current levels. The call comes as the Government is told it must publish a “thorough” assessment of the impact of leaving the EU without a deal as a matter of urgency.
Yorkshire has historically been one of the biggest recipients of money from Brussels designed to help strengthen the economies of poorer areas.
During the EU referendum campaign, senior Vote Leave supporters, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, promised regions which receive European cash would not lose out from Brexit.
Mr Jarvis has been pressing the Government to honour that pledge since Leave won the June vote.
Responding to Baroness Neville-Rolfe’s confirmation the Government is now looking at how the EU funding will be replaced, Mr Jarvis said: “This vital investment must continue after we leave the EU, a commitment to doing so was made during the referendum and it must be honoured by the Government. The Government must explain how it will be delivered and guarantee that none of its departments cancel any programmes.
“Until the Government do this, the businesses and people of Yorkshire will face unnecessary uncertainty on whether this critical, £100m a year, funding will continue.”
Before the Brexit vote, Yorkshire was due to receive more than £600m in the current six-year EU funding round stretching to 2020.
The Government has promised to honour funding for projects signed off before Britain leaves the EU.
However, critics have accused Ministers of taking the opportunity to exert more control over how the money is spent by insisting projects will only have their funding guaranteed if they are “in line with domestic strategies”.
Meanwhile, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency has said the UK will be “swimming against the tide of history” by leaving the EU.
John O Brennan, who served as director of the CIA until President Donald Trump’s inauguration, said the relationship between British and US intelligence agencies would not be damaged by Brexit but it will be a bumpy process for the UK to disengage from the EU. He said: “Right after the Brexit vote Alex Younger, the head of MI6, called me and assured me there would be no change whatsoever in the relationship between MI6 and the CIA and between British intelligence services and their US counterparts, and I assured him the same would be true from the US side.
Brexit verdict ‘urgently needed’: Page 4.