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Ministers publish ‘no-deal’ reports for EU regeneration funds

A ‘no-deal’ Brexit would mean local authorities, community groups and other organisations would lose access to key EU regeneration funds, ministers have confirmed.

The Government published its second tranche of briefing documents yesterday on what would happen if the UK leaves the EU next March without a deal in place.

The latest round of documents includes briefings on what a ‘No-Deal’ would mean for projects funded by both the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund Programme.

The European Social Fund provides funding for employment schemes, education and training both here in the UK and around Europe.

According to a new briefing document, if the UK crashes out of the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario, UK organisations will ‘be unable to access EU funding for European Social Fund projects after exit day’.

But it adds the Government is ‘committed to ensuring that there will be no gap in funding for regional growth in the event of a no deal’.

The document states that Whitehall will cover ‘all projects, including European Social Fund Projects, that would have been funded by the EU under the 2014-2020 programme period’.

The European Regional Development Fund Programme provides funding to support regional growth.

Again, the briefing states that in the event of a ‘No-Deal’ scenario, UK organisations would be unable to access funding for European Regional Development Fund projects ‘after exit day’.

But it adds the UK Government will cover European Regional Development Fund projects, that would have been funded by the EU under the 2014-2020 programme period.

There is no mention in either briefing document about would will happen after 2020 in the event of a ‘No-Deal’.

‘We are stepping up our No-Deal preparations, so that Britain can continue to flourish, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations,’ said Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab.

‘Getting a deal with the European Union is still by far and away the most likely outcome, and I will continue to champion our Chequers proposals with Michel Barnier.’

Labour’s Shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, commented: ‘We are less than 200 days until we leave the European Union and the Government still has no credible plan for Brexit. The Cabinet should be planning to negotiate a good deal for Britain, not planning for failure or blaming businesses for the Government’s chaos.

‘With the clock ticking, ministers should drop the irresponsible rhetoric and start putting jobs and the economy first.’

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