Wales politics

Carwyn Jones: Keep EU funding system after Brexit

Carwyn Jones

The way EU funding is given to Wales' most deprived communities should not be changed immediately after Brexit, the first minister has said.

Carwyn Jones believes the "status quo" has worked well.

West Wales and the valleys - which had some of the highest number of leave voters in the EU referendum - qualified for more than £2bn in aid between 2014 and 2020.

The payments are due to end after Brexit.

Publishing its general election manifesto on Monday, the Conservative party announced plans to replace the method with a "shared prosperity fund" if it wins the June 8 vote.

The manifesto suggests the current EU scheme is "expensive to administer and poorly targeted" and wants it replaced with something "cheap to administer, low in bureaucracy and targeted where it is needed most".

While the Tories pledged to consult Welsh ministers on the changes, Mr Jones believes funding should continue to go where it is now.

Image caption Carwyn Jones believes if the Conservative party wins the election, a new funding scheme should be hammered out with the devolved governments

He said: "To my mind what we need to do is the UK government needs to guarantee the level of funding that we have had so far from the EU, and that funding should be distributed according to the rules we have now, keep the status quo, it has worked very well for Wales.

"It is the same for agriculture and fisheries for example."

Mr Jones said it should not be "one government telling everyone else what is going to happen".

Instead, he wants the party that wins the UK general election to sit down with representatives of the devolved administrations to work out a way forward.

Plaid Cymru has promised to demand Wales continues to receive "every single penny" of the money it currently receives from the EU, once the UK leaves.

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Mark Williams said EU aid had been essential "in creating and safeguarding jobs, bringing our infrastructure into the 21st century".

He said if his party won the election, it would invest £100bn in creating jobs, building homes and the green economy.

Related Topics

More on this story