Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East, has joined cross-party MEPs in signing a letter to the Prime Minister asking her to urgently bring forward a proposal to replace the funding provided for the region by the European Regional Development Fund.
The government has previously pledged to commit more money to areas of the country that have been left out of the economic prosperity enjoyed by London and the South East through a ‘Shared Prosperity Fund’. However, no plan has been issued and a promised consultation has been repeatedly delayed.
The letter, signed by 16 MEPs, points to ‘consternation amongst local authorities and third-sector organisations in the regions we represent’ over the government’s inability to replace funding:
Leaving the EU will only deepen the already shocking inequality that is a blight on our communities. We believe that remaining in the EU is the only good deal for our communities. But, if the UK does leave the EU at the end of next month, we call on you urgently to bring forward a proposal to replace this funding, while fully respecting the competences of the devolved governments.
Download the full letter below
While the poorest regions tend to receive more in EU structural funds in absolute terms than richer regions the South East will have received €286 million between 2014 and 2020.