Government ‘Guarantee’ post-EU funds after Brexit occurs

SOURCE: BBC

It has been announced today that EU funding, which the UK receives as a member that will consequently be lost after Brexit occurs, given to organisations involving farming, scientists and others, will be replaced by the Treasury, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said.

Brexit could cost up to £6bn a year in losses of funding, but the Treasury will guarantee to back EU-funded projects signed before this year’s Autumn Statement.

The BBC have stated that agricultural funding which is now provided by the EU will also continue until 2020.

However, critics said the guarantee does not go far enough and there was ‘continued uncertainty’.

Voters ultimately backed to leave the EU in the 23 June referendum by 3.8%, but Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated the UK government will not trigger Article 50, which would begin a two-year process to leave, during 2016.

Furthermore, Mr Hammond has said “EU structural and investment fund projects signed before the Autumn Statement later this year, and Horizon research funding granted before leaving the EU, will be guaranteed by the Treasury after the UK leaves.”

The BBC have also said ‘the EU’s 80bn euro (£69bn) Horizon 2020 programme awards funding for research and innovation and is open to UK institutions while the country remains a member.’

The chancellor responded to critics by saying the government was “determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU”.

The Treasury said it would assess whether to guarantee funding for certain other projects “that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while we remain a member of the EU”.

Currently, farmers receive subsidies and other payments under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

It’s said that they get about £3bn a year in subsidies, with the biggest farmers pocketing cheques of £1m. The grants are given for owning land and also taking care of wildlife.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said the Treasury’s announcement was “positive” for farming.

Other examples of projects that have received, or are due to receive regional development fund money, include:

  • £5m for the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester
  • £9m for the manufacturing growth programme to support areas in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber and the East of England
  • £3m for a new life sciences incubation and innovation centre at Porton Down in Wiltshire

(BBC 2016)

Reportedly, the UK currently pays money into the EU budget, which will stop once it formally leaves.

In 2015 the UK Government paid in £13bn; EU spending on the UK was £4.5bn, meaning the UK’s net contribution was estimated at about £8.5bn, or £161m a week.

The UK private sector receives a further £1-1.5bn annually in EU funding.

What do you make of the Governments post-EU promisees?

Is the affordable for the UK to do? Will this mean Taxation and further Austerity cuts? Are these promises realistic?

Comment below your views on the post-EU funding plans

Inquiry into foreign backers of UK extremists gets green light

Source: The Guardian, The BBC

The Guardian have stated that ”David Cameron has authorised an investigation into the foreign funding and support of jihadi and extremist groups in the UK, a development that could lead to a potential standoff with the government’s key Gulf ally Saudi Arabia.”

They further to quote that ”Political pressure on Cameron to investigate extremist revenue streams in the UK has come from the Liberal Democrats who requested the inquiry in exchange for supporting the extension into Syria of British airstrikes against Islamic State.”

What’s your view on this?

Should the UK be Involved with this? If the UK was to leave the EU, would this effect anything to do with this involvement? Should we be focusing on more local issues, like pay issues and flooding, rather than Saudi Arabian affairs?

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£9m grant fund to improve natural environment

Source: The BBC

The BBC state that ‘Nine councils in Wales are to share nearly £9m to improve natural environments used by local communities.’

What’s your view on this? Is the ”Big Lottery Fund and dormant accounts’ funding from bank and building societies” money funded for this effective for the environment? Could it be spent elsewhere to tackle other issues?

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