The SNP has criticised the UK government for its continued refusal to set out details over crucial post-Brexit funding – with mounting concerns that Scotland faces being short-changed, and that Westminster may bypass the devolved governments and dictate spending decisions.
In the House of Commons, SNP MP David Linden challenged the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick over his broken promise to set out details last November - with the UK government kicking the details of the plan down the road to Spring.
The EU’s Structural and Investment Funds - which is being replaced by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund - provided around £780m in the last 7-year programme alone, more than £100m a year. However, under the post-Brexit UK scheme, Scotland potentially faces seeing a sharp drop in funding - with next year’s funding of £200m for the whole of the UK meaning that Scotland will get far less than the £100m it would from being part of the EU.
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson David Linden MP said:
“The Tory government’s continued refusal to set out details over crucial post-Brexit funding has shamefully left the devolved governments and councils in the dark. In fact, the only areas where they’ve offered any clarity are the areas where it is quite clear they are intending on spending money in devolved areas.
“In November last year, the Secretary of State promised that more details about the replacement EU structural funds would be revealed in the Spending Review – however the UK government failed to do so, and we are now told we must wait until Spring. The Tory government’s disdain for devolution is limitless.
“Given the Tories’ track record of undermining devolution, there is growing concern that Westminster could bypass the devolved governments and instead dictate where and how spending is allocated – including in devolved areas. The funding for Scotland should be passed to the Scottish Government to administer on behalf of the people of Scotland.
"And it's deeply concerning that Scotland also potentially faces being short-changed, with the post-Brexit UK scheme likely to fall well short of the levels of funding provided through our membership of the EU.
"It's clear beyond any doubt that Westminster is not acting in Scotland's interests, and the only way to properly protect our interests is to become an independent country in the EU."