Regional investment funding and decisions must not be stripped from Wales post-Brexit – says First Minister

Today Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister Carwyn Jones Launched the Welsh Government’s latest Brexit paper, the First Minister warned against the UK government using our exit from the EU as an opportunity to take money and funding decisions away from Wales.

The paper, ‘Regional Investment in Wales after Brexit’ proposes a new, simplified and less bureaucratic way of supporting Welsh communities and driving economic development.

It calls for every penny of the £370m that Wales currently receives from the EU each year to be replaced by the UK government and added to the Welsh Government’s annual budget.

The paper rejects the idea of a Westminster controlled UK Prosperity Fund and calls for regional investment decisions to continue to be made in Wales. The proposals include:

  • simplifying the rules, administration and systems for regional investment funds
  • developing plans for the regions of Wales led by partnerships involving local authorities, businesses and communities in those areas
  • regional investment focused on places where it is needed and in line with the Welsh Government’s Economic Action Plan (EAP)
  • continuing the ability to provide state aid to businesses
  • the 4 national governments of the UK agreeing rules on regional support to avoid a race to the bottom that could damage communities
  • creation of a Council of Economic Ministers from all 4 nations to ensure co-ordination of policy across the UK.

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