Flooding Update - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:46 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for International Development, The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State 3:46 pm, 25th February 2020

I thank the noble Lord for his question. I am not entirely sure of the relevance of Brexit to this. The Government made a commitment to provide £2.6 billion up to the end of 2021 in every region across the country. The commitment in the manifesto on which the Government were elected was to increase that to £4 billion. That figure is obviously subject to negotiations in the run-up to the Chancellor’s Budget in a few weeks’ time. I do not think that Brexit has had any real impact on this at all, other than allowing us to change the land use subsidy system so that, instead of encouraging flooding, we can introduce measures to reduce the flow of water and invest in nature. In my view, this is an enormous Brexit bonus for nature. Other than that, the record and the commitments made show that funding is increasing, not decreasing. Brexit is just a thing that happened in the middle.