Written by Jacob Jaffa |
The South-West will likely lose out on significant funding after Brexit according to the figures released by the government in relation to the newly announced Stronger Towns Fund.
Theresa May’s new funding initiative, which some have labelled as ‘Brexit bribes’, is targeted at mostly leave-voting constituencies in the Midlands and North of England, which the Prime Minister said had “not shared the proceeds of growth”.
However, figures released by the government suggest that the South-west will be worse off after Brexit, receiving £33m over the four-year scheme, a boost of just £8.25m per year. This is in stark contrast to the over £900m given to the region by EU structural funds between 2014 and 2020, working out at around £135m per year. £60m of this went directly into developing infrastructure, the universities as well as broadband internet in Cornwall.
Cornwall Council are “very angry and disappointed” by the Fund, which gives just 85p per head per year in the South-west compared to £5.70 in the North-east.
While the government has pledged to match all EU funding in full after Brexit, there have been no exact plans set out as to how this will be achieved, especially in the context of slowing global trade and the forecasted short-term economic downturn post-Brexit.
Cornwall, with a population of around 530,000 people, voted resoundingly to leave the EU, with 56.52% voting for Leave.
The Fund has been heavily criticised by the government Opposition as an attempt to buy off votes for the government’s unpopular Brexit deal, which faces another ‘meaningful vote’ on 12th March, and is likely to be defeated.
Following this Westminster will have advisory votes on both the prospect of no deal and a short extension of Article 50 on 13th and 14th March respectively.