Two year wait

Ministers ‘left in dark’ over EU fund replacement

Ivan McKee

Ivan McKee: Westminster ‘has failed to engage meaningfully with the devolved nations’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Scottish Government ministers are still awaiting clarification on how a proposed replacement for European Structural Funds will work – two years after it was proposed.

The ESF, which has provided £5.6 billion to Scotland, will not be available from the turn of the year as Britain finally leaves the EU.

A new Scottish Shared Prosperity Fund (SSPF) is due to be established as part of a UK-wide replacement, but two years after being announced there is no detail on how it will operate.

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said he expects the UK Government to transfer full control over replacement funding to the Scottish Government as the EU transition period ends.

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Mr McKee said: “EU Structural Funds have been key to Scotland’s economic development over the past 40 years, investing more than £5.6 billion into a wide range of projects.

“Since the UK Government announced its intention to establish a UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) to replace these funds in 2018, it has failed to engage meaningfully with the devolved nations, providing no detail on how such a fund might work, how much funding will be available and what it will fund in future.

“Scottish Ministers and officials continue to try to engage with the UK Government to secure the information needed to plan for the future.

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