EU funding for Duchy safe after Brexit vote, says St Austell and Newquay Member of Parliament
Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay has addressed fears that EU funding could be cut immediately if the UK voted to leave the European Union.
EU funding programmes and farm subsidies in Cornwall will continue to be available should the UK decide to vote Brexit on 23rd June.
Steve will be voting to leave the European Union later this year and has reiterated that EU funding will continue to flow into Cornwall the day after a leave vote.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is currently benefiting from the EU’s Structural and Investment Growth Programme (2014-2020) which is made up of the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
Total funding stands at €603 million (around £483 million) which will be delivered according to the Growth Programme’s priorities to increase labour market participation, promote social inclusion and develop the skills of the potential and existing workforce.
Explaining how Cornwall will continue to benefit, Steve said:
“The day after we vote to leave the EU, Cornwall will continue to receive EU money. As this is a consultative referendum, there is no change in the legal status of the UK’s relationship with the EU.
“The flow of development funding and CAP payments to the UK will only change once the UK formally exits the EU which will take nearly two years. When that point is reached, the UK will then be able to use the £20 billion we currently send to the EU each year to cover any funding withdrawn by the EU.”
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicts that the UK will pay £19.6bn gross in membership fees in 2016, receive a £4.3bn rebate, and £4.2bn in funding, which leaves nett membership at £11.1bn.
“While it’s positive we currently get this funding from the EU, we actually lose £11bn in the process of getting back £4.2bn from the organisation,” added Steve.
“The money we get from the EU is essentially just a small fraction of what we’ve already handed over. If we leave the EU, we could utilise that extra £11bn a year in a number of important sectors.
“Meanwhile, I understand that some farmers in my constituency rely on CAP payments and I would take this opportunity to reassure that I will continue to back them if Britain decides to stand up and be counted; voting ‘leave’ on June 23rd.”