Scotland could miss out on hundreds of millions of pounds if the UK Government does not fulfil its promise to fully replace the EU funding that Scotland is losing out on as a consequence of being dragged out of the European Union.
The UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF), which is intended to replace EU Structural Funds lost as a result of Brexit, is due to launch in April 2022. However, the Scottish Government’s consistent calls for detail of how much funding will be allocated to Scotland continue to go ignored by UK Ministers.
It has been announced the total value of the SPF across the UK up to 2024/25 will be £2.6 billion – with £560 million already set aside for adult numeracy programmes.
This is 40% reduction on the amount the UK received under the last tranche of EU structural funds, according to a cross-party report from the Treasury Committee.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Brexit is costing communities and businesses across North Ayrshire and Scotland vital funding delivered by EU structural funds. That is why the Scottish Government has repeatedly pressed the UK Government to provide clarity on how the missing millions will be replaced.
“According to estimates, at least £183 million each year is required to match Scotland’s lost EU funding, but the Levelling Up White Paper fails to provide any answers and we fear the SPF will fall short – like the Tories have on so many other promises.
“While UK Ministers say the Levelling Up agenda will help empower all parts of the UK, the reality is that Scottish Ministers have not been consulted, nor have Scottish Ministers had any role in investment proposals or decisions that are devolved to the Scottish Parliament. New guidance on the SPF offers no evidence of respecting devolution or acknowledging the Scottish Government as an equal partner.
“In my view, it’s likely that too little funding will come Scotland’s way and when it does, the UK Government will try to bypass the Scottish Government in another attempt to bribe the Scottish electorate to stay in the union.”
Read the House of Commons Treasury Committee’s report into the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021.