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Certainty for over £700m of farming, fishing and structural funds projects
EU funding contracts for structural funds, fisheries and farming projects that are agreed before the UK proposes to leave the EU will be paid in full, the Scottish Government has announced.
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has announced 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.
In confirming funding plans the Cabinet Secretary re-iterated the Scottish Government’s efforts to ensure Scotland can continue to maintain a relationship with Europe.
Mr Mackay said:
“EU funding benefits Scotland significantly, supporting jobs, delivering infrastructure, sustaining rural communities, providing valuable support for the farming and fishing industries and delivering research funding for universities.
“That is why I am confirming today that I will be passing on in full to Scottish stakeholders, the guarantees on EU funding that the UK Government has provided to cover the period between now and the point that the UK proposes to leave the EU – to provide stability and certainty for these key sectors of the Scottish economy.
“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 our proposals in the coming weeks to protect our interests in the face of a potential hard Brexit by the UK.
“We will continue to engage with HM Treasury to get clarity on longer term funding arrangements for after the point the UK leaves the EU.”
In recent weeks, Mr Mackay has met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke and has raised with him his continuing concerns about the failure to provide comprehensive, long-term guarantees for farmers, fishermen and communities across Scotland who are facing significant threats to critical investment and jobs.
The current guarantees cover all payments of contracts for EU structural funds, CAP Pillar 2/Scottish Rural Development Programme, European Maritime Fisheries Fund and projects funded directly by the EU (e.g. Horizon 2020 and European Territorial Co-operation programmes) that are entered into before the UK leaves the EU – even if the payments extend beyond the date of Brexit. Separately the UK Government has provided guarantees for CAP Pillar 1 subsidy schemes, which will be guaranteed until 2020. There are currently no guarantees for projects or proposals that might come forward after the UK leaves the EU.