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Shared Prosperity Fund

Volume 714: debated on Monday 16 May 2022

3. What recent discussions he has had with elected members in the devolved Administrations on the (a) equity and (b) transparency of the UK shared prosperity fund. (900017)

The United Kingdom Government have engaged with each of the devolved Administrations on the design of the UK shared prosperity fund both at official and ministerial levels, and our engagement with Ministers from the devolved Administrations in the weeks leading up to the publication of the UKSPF allocation helped to inform the most appropriate mix of interventions and specifically the allocations for each nation.

No doubt one thing that will have been raised in those discussions is the fact that this year Scotland’s share will be £151 million less than we would have got in EU structural funds had we not been dragged out of the EU against our will, despite the fact that both the Tory party manifesto in 2019 and a personal pledge from the Secretary of State at the Holyrood Finance and Public Administration Committee earlier this year assured us we would get at least as much as would have come from the European Union. Why have those two promises been broken, and, most importantly, what has happened to Scotland’s missing £151 million?

The normally pertinacious Member is misinformed: it is the case that Scotland receives just as much. I fear he is probably missing out the money Scotland receives from the European Union as a result of money we gave to the EU, and as funding slowly moves down, the great thing about leaving the EU is that we have control of how these funds are spent; we can decide how they are spent. If the hon. Member wants to take us back into the European Union perhaps he will explain to voters in Scotland why he wants to take us back into the common fisheries policy, why he wants to abandon the trade deals we have secured that benefit Scotland’s distillers and farmers, and why he wants power to be exercised by unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels rather than elected representatives here.