In Communities and Local Government Questions on Monday, Emma quizzed the Minster about the North East devolution deal in light of Brexit.
The North East receives more funding from the EU than anywhere else in England. Over the next 5 years the North East was due to receive £726 million in EU funds. For every pound we put in to the EU we got £10 back in funding, investment and economic growth. And in the North East, because we were a net beneficiary, we also get our pound back.
The North East Devolution deal promises only £30 million a year for 30 years and we have no guarantees that the money will be forthcoming.
Up to 160,000 jobs in the region rely on trade with the EU. Being part of the EU single market allows North East businesses to trade and grow which is a real boost for business in our region and helps create growth.
The North East Combined Authority deal promises to deliver new opportunities for the people of the North East and the creation of 100,000 jobs.
Brexit has a huge impact on the Devolution deals. The Local Government Association is also seeking urgent assurances from the Government that councils will still receive the £5.3 billion in EU regeneration funding they have been allocated up to 2020 following the referendum result. This is money which is earmarked to create jobs, build new infrastructure and boost growth across the country. But the Government has so far refused to give those assurances.
The leader of the North East Combined Authority, has also called for a seat at the Prime Minister’s Brexit negotiating table.
You can read Emma’s question and the Secretary of States response here.
Speaking afterwards Emma said,
“The impact of Brexit on the Nations finances is hugely significant and the withdrawal of EU funds from regions with devolution agreements is bound to impact on the current deals. It stands to reason if the funding stream has changed it’s only right and proper that the devolution deals are renegotiated to reflect the significant changes ahead. The new Secretary of State is deluded to think that no deals need to be reconsidered in light of these changes and I will continue to fight for the North East to have the devolution deal we deserve.”