Levelling Up

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20 November 2023.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford Scottish National Party, Ross, Skye and Lochaber 3:43, 20 November 2023

My goodness, what a con this is. Earlier this year, we heard from the National Audit Office that of the £9.5 billion allocated in the first round, only £1 billion had been spent. Perhaps the Minister can say how much has been spent now. Is this not much like any other Tory slogan—meaningless in reality? Once again, there is nothing for Ross, Skye and Lochaber. We heard from David Mundell about the importance of rural areas, but there is nothing for the Portree harbour bid, which would have made such a difference.

I invite the Secretary of State and his ministerial team to my constituency. We will drive around and look at all the sites of the projects that were funded by the European Union—roads, bridges, harbours, sports facilities. That money would have come if we had stayed in the European Union, as Scotland voted to do. We are missing out on €750 billion that the EU was investing in regeneration, and once again we are getting nothing—zip—from this Tory Government.