Read the full text of the letter from the devolved Finance Ministers to Chancellor George Osborne seeking an urgent meeting to discuss their concerns around the EU referendum result and the resulting impact on devolved budgets.
Implications of EU Referendum
Following the outcome of the EU referendum we have discussed the implications for the Devolved Administrations and have agreed to register our collective thoughts and concerns.
We appreciate fully that there exists a vast array of uncertainties as to the consequences of the referendum decision. However it is clear that the Devolved Administrations now need an immediate meeting with you to discuss our concerns. There are a significant number of common concerns – most obviously relating to the fiscal position and uncertainty surrounding the Spending Review settlement. This includes clarification on the plans to reduce Revenue DEL by a further £3.5bn in 2019-20.
In the current climate and in light of the referendum result, we urge the new UK Government to take the opportunity to think again about its economic and fiscal policy.
We are determined to act resolutely to protect the interests of all our people, especially against further austerity policies that might be considered as a consequence of the referendum result. This is particularly relevant in the context of the majority vote in both Scotland and the North of Ireland to remain within the EU.
It is essential we assure potential investors, the business community and those in receipt of European funding that we will endeavour to put in place the necessary measures to safeguard our interests; and certainty on future budgets will underpin those assurances.
We agree on the importance of maintaining investment in vital infrastructure to boost growth and restore confidence. We call on the UK Government to give a clear commitment that devolved administrations will not lose a penny of the EU related funding streams.
We also seek your support for our planned engagement with the European Investment Bank to take forward a collaborative approach to infrastructure enhancement in our economies, a large fund across administrations bringing significant reductions in finance costs.
In light of the above, we now request an urgent meeting with you to consider the implications of the EU referendum outcome.
At that meeting we should also discuss the Chief Secretary to the Treasury’s (CST) recent letter to us on a range of public finance issues. This has profound implications for all of us – implications compounded by the referendum outcome.
Mark Drakeford Máirtín Ó Muilleoir Derek Mackay
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