Wales politics

Welsh Tory leader Davies: Westminster could deliver Brexit cash

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Media captionAndrew RT Davies said it was 'vital' Wales' interests are protected

Cash designed to replace EU funding after Brexit could come directly from Westminster rather than via Cardiff Bay, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives has suggested.

Andrew RT Davies, who campaigned for Leave in the referendum, questioned why the Welsh Government should handle the cash.

Mr Davies also said there is no need for a general election.

He added there were "vested interests" in making the Brexit project fail.

Wales gets £1.8bn in European Structural Funds in the current 2014-2020 programme, while farmers received £240m in the Common Agricultural Policy's single payment scheme in 2014 alone.

The cash is currently administered by Welsh Government departments.

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'Traditional routes'

Mr Davies told a press conference: "It is vital that Wales interests are protected and secured, and communities which have had this money spent are given the confidence that the money will continue irrespective of whether it comes from the Treasury in London or Welsh Government."

But he added: "That money could, could come directly from Westminster."

"Why should the Welsh Government handle the money?"

He added that after the Wales Bill is passed, "after negotiations with Europe, there will be other models that we can look at and Westminster can look at as how they can deliver the money here to Wales that don't necessarily need to just flow through the traditional routes that have developed since 1999.

"I'm just saying that as a possible negotiating position that needs to be considered."

Mr Davies said it is "important that who emerges as the next prime minister on 2 September can empathises with the views that were expressed at the ballot, the referendum on Thursday."

'Supporter of free movement'

He said there was no need for a new Westminster poll.

"The current government in Westminster was only elected 14 months ago, this referendum was a key part of the manifesto, so it was understood that this referendum was coming," he said.

"I see no need because of the referendum result of last Thursday that is a requirement to have a general election."

Mr Davies said that there was a "vested interest here in making this project fail. The establishment were on the Remain side".

He said he was a "supporter of the free movement of people. I believe that actually enriches communities and actually helps economically."

"The point is that it will be a British government who will be determining our immigration policy," he said.

He suggested the government would be "somewhere in the middle" on the issue.

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