By Richard Whitehouse
Cornwall’s six Tory MPs have hit back at critics who say that Cornwall will get less than half its replacement EU funding.
It was announced last week that Cornwall will get £132million over the next three years from the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF). The critics are mainly to be found at the Conservative-controlled Cornwall Council and government-appointed Local Enterprise Partnership.
The SPF is the fund which was said would provide the replacement funding that Cornwall would have got if we remained in the EU as it had been identified as one of the poorest regions in the EU. It had been estimated that Cornwall would have received £100m a year from the EU.
Critics said that the £132m over three years meant that Cornwall will get less than half it would have done in the EU. They said that the Prime Minister and Cornwall’s MPs had broken promises that said that Cornwall would get the same or more than it would have done in the EU.
Truro and Falmouth MP Cherilyn Mackrory said that the claims had been made by “local opposition leaders” – however it was the Conservative controlled Cornwall Council which submitted a strong bid to the Government seeking £100m a year which it said would make sure it was “no worse off” after Brexit.
Now Cornwall’s MPs say they have “debunked” this claim by asking the House of Commons Library to comment on the estimates.
The response from the researchers states: “We don’t think it’s possible to meaningfully estimate how much money the UK, or any part of it, would have received if the UK was still in the EU.
“This is because if the UK had not voted to leave the EU, then the EU budget for the 2021-27 framework period – and therefore the EU funding allocations within that budget – would have been made in a very different political environment…attempting to work out what the resulting budget would have looked like therefore requires so many assumptions as to make the result effectively meaningless.”
The MPs say that “local opposition” leaders had made the £100m a year claims – however it was the current Conservative controlled Cornwall Council which submitted a bid to the Government last year stating that it would need £700m over the next seven years.