No UK clarity on post-Brexit funding, say Scottish and Welsh ministers
The UK Government has failed to give clarity on funding for the devolved nations post-Brexit, according to the finance secretaries of Scotland and Wales.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss spoke to Scotland’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Welsh Finance Minister Rebecca Evans at a meeting in Cardiff on Friday.
Following the meeting, Mr Mackay said no reassurances were given over the replacement of EU funding or public-sector pensions.
Mr Mackay said: “I raised a number of issues with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, including urging her to rule out a no-deal Brexit, giving me a cast-iron guarantee that all lost EU funding would be replaced in full and meeting all costs associated with the UK Government’s changes to public sector pensions. She could do none of these.
“With just weeks to go until the planned EU exit day, the Scottish Government remains deeply concerned about the lack of detail regarding replacement arrangements for EU funding streams, not to mention the severe impact a no-deal could have on our economy and labour market.
“As a responsible Government, we will continue to intensify our work to prepare for all Brexit outcomes as best we can and press the UK Government to rule out no-deal Brexit and extend the Article 50 process.”
The UK is set to depart from the European Union on March 29 but no deal has yet been agreed.
A deal put forward by Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to gain the support of MPs across the House in Parliament.
Welsh Finance Minister Rebecca Evans also suggested the UK Government had provided no reassurances to quell Brexit uncertainty.
“I was hoping for much greater clarity on what are becoming very important and pressing issues the closer we get to EU exit day but, disappointingly, I am leaving the meeting no more reassured,” she said.
“There seems to be a real lack of clarity across the UK Government on what is happening with Brexit but with the very real prospect of a no-deal, this is a huge concern to Welsh Government.
“Along with my Scottish counterpart, I pressed the Chief Secretary for clarity on a number of financial issues relating to the impact of Brexit, including the possibility of an emergency budget.
“The message was clear, a full fiscal event is not on the agenda, adding to the uncertainties we are facing as we prepare to exit.
“The Welsh Government will continue to make the case for Wales to ensure that the interests of Wales are very much at the forefront of discussions.”