McAlpine welcomes certainty for region’s EU farming, fishing and structural funds
SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement that EU structural funds, fisheries and farming projects agreed before the UK proposes to leave the EU will be paid in full.
Dumfries and Galloway has benefitted from millions of EU regional development funding for everything from infrastructure to college courses, with one in in three farmers depending on EU support.
The South Scotland MSP welcomed Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s announcement that he will be passing on, in full, the EU funding guarantees that have been offered by the UK Government, providing certainty for over £700 million of EU funding for Scotland.
Ms McAlpine said:
“EU funding benefits Dumfries and Galloway, and the whole of Scotland significantly, supporting jobs, delivering infrastructure, sustaining rural communities, providing valuable support for the farming and fishing industries and delivering research funding for universities.
“From such projects as developing the harbour in Annan, to developing confidence well-being and capacity in communities across the region through delivering the ‘D&G Sensory Project,’ the importance of EU funding in our region cannot be underestimated.
“That’s why I’m glad the SNP government has confirmed it will pass on in full the guarantees on EU funding to Scottish stakeholders.”
“The Chancellor’s announcement last month on EU funding demonstrates, in the starkest possible terms, that there is no certainty on what will replace European Union funding streams after the UK leaves the EU.
“This continuing uncertainty puts at risk significant investment and jobs, revealing the reality of Brexit and could have a devastating impact on farmers, fishermen and communities across Scotland who heavily rely on this investment and will continue to be unable to plan beyond the point that the UK is expected to leave the EU.
“It is clear that the best way to guarantee the jobs, investment, services and projects which depend on this funding is by maintaining Scotland’s relationship with Europe and our place in the single market, which is why the Scottish Government will set out proposals in the coming weeks to protect our interests in the face of a potential hard Brexit by the UK.”