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Brexit cash row as SNP claim £150m shortfall

Gillian Martin MSP
Gillian Martin MSP

The UK Government is being accused of short-changing the people of Scotland by millions of pounds since Brexit.

The Shared Prosperity Fund will see £2.6 billion split between the four UK nations over the next three years, rising to £1.5bn annually by 2025.

This fund is meant to replace to main funds from the European Union prior to Brexit – the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

However, the Scottish Government claims the funding falls short by at least £151 million in 2022/23, as Scotland will only be receiving £32m.

They say £183m was originally promised.

The party is calling it a “betrayal of democracy and a disgrace”.

How much is your area missing?

According to SNP figures, local authority areas across Scotland are set to miss out on millions in funding each because of this.

Estimated by share of population, the party estimates Aberdeen is due to miss out on £6.3m this year, and Aberdeenshire by £7.2m.

In Moray the figure is £2.6m and in the Highlands it is £6.5m.

The islands are also missing out on this funding post-Brexit.

In Orkney this will be by £619,000, in Shetland £632,000 and in the Western Isles £732,000.

The Scottish Government has calculated £162m a year is needed to replace the funding that came into Scotland through the two EU funds, increasing to £183m when taking the LEADER funding and the EU Territorial Cooperation Programme into account.

The UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said the amount allocated for the first two years of the fund is lower than the EU’s funding as the package from Brussels is still being spent.

This package will come to an end in 2023 and the UK Government department says the fund will be “ramped up” after this.

It said that by 2024/25 the £1.5bn fund will match what was previously spent in Scotland pre-Brexit.

‘Westminster means cuts’

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin said: “Boris Johnson and Michael Gove led a Brexit campaign that promised £1.5bn a year for Scottish devolved services when the UK left the EU.

“To put that in context, for every £1 they promised they’ve given 11 pence – Scotland has been short changed by 89%.”

Gillian Martin MSP

‘Levelling up means losing out’

SNP Business Minister Ivan McKee says the Shared Prosperity Fund is failing to deliver the replacement funding Scotland was promised.

“Transformational projects, such as the University of the Highlands and Islands and the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, have brought significant benefits to businesses and communities.

“It is hugely disappointing that future projects with as much potential may lose out.”

Business Minister Ivan McKee

Fund takes back control from the EU

UK Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove said: “We have taken back control of our money from the EU and we are empowering those who know their communities in Scotland best to deliver on their priorities.

Michael Gove MP

“The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to unleash the creativity and talent of Scottish communities that have for too long been overlooked and undervalued.

“By targeting this funding at areas of the country that need it the most, we will help spread opportunity and level up in every part of the United Kingdom, including Scotland.”

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