£100m loss of yearly EU funds as result of Brexit ‘catastrophic’ - Kearney
Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney has said Brexit will result in a net loss of European funds for the northern Executive totalling almost £100 million per year.
The party’s Brexit spokesperson and minister in the Executive said:
“There is now confirmation that the north will lose £97.6m per year as a result of Brexit.
“This stark figure graphically exposes the scale of loss in EU financial support, which we have relied upon to underpin essential economic, agricultural, community, and educational programmes.
“This catastrophic loss will be felt right across our economy and society, and by all sections of the community. Previously established training and apprenticeships for our young people, supports for farmers, and educational and cultural exchange opportunities for students will now be undermined.
“There is still no sign of the Shared Prosperity Fund which was supposed to replace EU programmes such as the Social Fund and Regional Development Fund. It is now obvious that the Tories are not prioritising meeting the financial shortfall caused.
“The implications are very serious. The rural economy alone faces a loss of nearly £15m every year in farm assistance grants.
“The lack of a proper replacement for the Erasmus programme will cost the north over £5 million per year, and impact directly on thousands of students and academic staff, who would have benefitted from all the associated opportunities.
“The loss of these funds will have also have a disproportionately adverse effect on border communities, and the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
"Those who championed Brexit were warned well in advance that there would be major financial repercussions for the north.
“The DUP through its reckless pursuit of a hard Brexit is responsible for creating this financial black hole in the regional economy. The DUP is bad for business and bad for the economy. It is time for change.”