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Barnett Formula

Volume 671: debated on Wednesday 5 February 2020

13. What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring that additional funding allocated to Northern Ireland is subject to the Barnett formula. (900572)

Here we go again from the SNP, but here we go again with the answer. As there has been no increase in UK Government departmental spending in England, there are no Barnett consequentials. Like previous Northern Ireland support packages, this funding addresses unique challenges, as was the case with city deals and support for farmers in Scotland and Wales.

We welcome the return of the new Executive and new moneys for Northern Ireland, but given the Prime Minister’s previously stated opposition to the Barnett formula, will the Secretary of State confirm for the record whether the Government still intend to abide by it?

I can confirm that we absolutely plan to abide by the Barnett formula. That is why, as part of this Government’s commitments, we are levelling up across the nations of the United Kingdom.

I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. He will know that farming and fisheries are an important part of our local economy. He mentioned Barnett consequentials for farmers. Can he give specific assurances that farmers and fishermen will be looked after now that we have left the EU?

I can confirm that we will look after everybody after we leave the EU, but I am also reticent, sitting so close to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in making any commitments about the forthcoming Budget.

Order. Before we start Prime Minister’s questions, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that, for the first time, the House of Commons is starting a trial scheme to provide a British Sign Language interpretation of Prime Minister’s questions online. A signed version of the session is available live on parliamentlive.tv. Everyone deserves to be able to follow such a key moment in the parliamentary week, and I am committed to making our proceedings as accessible and clear as possible. I want to thank everyone who has worked hard to make this happen.