Yorkshire’s only elected metro mayor has said the Government must ensure Britain’s regions get their fair share of money which comes back under British control after Brexit.
Dan Jarvis said any “Brexit dividend” - cash which will be retained by the Government once it stops paying the EU - must be spread fairly around the UK.
The Labour politician insisted his own Sheffield City Region should get as much funding as it would have if voters had backed remaining in the EU.
And he urged other elected mayors of the North to join him in calling for control of a share of the Government’s planned UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), which will replace EU grants after Brexit.
Arguing the total budget for England should be at least £3bn a year, Mr Jarvis said: “As we get set to leave the European Union in March next year, it is critical that the Government reaffirm their commitment to devolution by giving elected mayors control of a fair share of the money that used to be sent to Brussels”.
“The Sheffield City Region should not receive a reduction in what they would have received if the UK had not voted to leave the European Union.
“I have written to other metro mayors in the North to call for their support and will be making the case in Parliament.
“Here in South Yorkshire, the economy is growing but we’re not yet closing the gap with other regions in the UK. It is critical that this gap does not widen post-Brexit and that, instead, the Government acts on its promise to use the UKSPF to reduce inequalities, making post-Brexit Britain a place where all communities and regions can prosper.”
In evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Post-Brexit Funding, Mr Jarvis insisted money should be disproportionately targeted at places of need in order to meet the Government’s aim of cutting inequality.
Regions must have autonomy to invest in local priorities, he added.