MEP accuses Conservatives of betraying Cornwall over EU replacement funds

Molly has accused the Conservative government of back peddling on funding for Cornwall. Ahead of the referendum a group of 13 Brexit supporting Tory ministers and MPs, including Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, published a letter guaranteeing to match more than £550m of EU funding and promising ‘those who now get funding from the EU will continue to do so.’

However, Molly says the government has failed to produce any plan for funding beyond 2020 when EU funds cease and that a recent allocation of £18m annually from the Department for Communities and Local Government fails to match the £60m annual payment from the EU [2]. Molly said:

“The promise by leading Tories to match EU funding for Cornwall after we left the EU is yet another broken promise by the Leave campaign. It’s now clear the region is going to lose out significantly when EU funding dries up. The paltry £18m a year figure is just a fraction of the £127m bid by the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is nowhere near the approximately £60m a year currently received by the EU. Cornwall’s farmers also face huge uncertainty over the future of their agricultural support payments when we leave the EU.

“Meanwhile we have just witnessed a Budget that has failed to provide anything like adequate funding to public services and social care. The region faces a 4% council tax rise next year but this will still not plug the funding gap. The government has also broken a manifesto commitment by hiking national insurance contributions for the huge number of self-employed in Cornwall.

“Small wonder Cornwall’s Tory MPs are lying low. Their government has betrayed the region, and with the St Ives Tory seat only having a 5% majority and 38% self-employed, some of them must be fearing for their political survival”.