Last week Brexit and the future of funding for Cornwall through the European Union was once again back in the news.
There does, sadly, appear to be a mood of doom coming from some about the future for Cornwall once we leave the EU. However, there are many positive economic messages that show that they future can be bright and full of opportunities.
Whilst I understand the clamour for answers and guarantees about the future of funding for Cornwall that has historically come via the EU, I think do we need to acknowledge that it is still very early days. It is only 2 months since the referendum and the historic decision made by the British people.
In that time we have seen a new Prime Minister and an almost entirely new Cabinet put in place. Inevitably it will take a bit of time for these decisions to be made.
However, just last week our new Chancellor, Phillip Hammond made a very significant announcement. He confirmed that the British government will continue to fund any projects that have been agreed up until this year’s Autumn Statement once we leave the EU. This guarantee is very welcome news and provides the certainty we need.
He also guaranteed current levels of funding for agriculture will be met by the British government up until 2020 – again very good news for our Cornish farmers.
To have this clarified so soon after the referendum is clearly very positive news.
The Chancellor also confirmed the Treasury will be putting in place arrangements for funding further projects that are not signed off before the autumn statement but that will be in place whilst we remain a member of the EU – likely to be until 2019.
The upshot of this is that British businesses and universities will have certainty over future funding and be able to continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.
The Chancellor has also given a clear indication that there will be further central government funding available to support the Cornish economy and we await the detail as to how this will operate it is clearly a positive sign of the Government’s intent to continue to provide support for Cornwall post Brexit. I will be working with my fellow Cornish MPs to make sure we get the support we need.
I have been disappointed with the response from the ruling administration at Cornwall Council, who do not seem to want to see this as a positive step.
To me, far from the negative position that some have taken, this announcement is an important and positive step to give reassurance for projects currently seeking funding traditionally available via the European Union.
I have always said the EU funding programme was an ineffective and bureaucratic system. Lots of money has been spent in a way which has not resulted in the desired outcome. Let us remember this was British taxpayer money recycled by the EU with lots of additional bureaucracy and hoops to jump through added for good measure. Leaving the EU gives us the opportunity to spend our own money, to have a more effective programme that will be better value for money for the taxpayer and provide better targeted and more effective support for the Cornish economy.
As always, my team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please contact me on either 01726 829379 or email@example.com. Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: www.stevedouble.org.uk/events