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EU Structural Funds: Least Developed Regions — [Siobhain McDonagh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 26th June 2019.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 2:30 pm, 26th June 2019

I agree. The European Union has demonstrated itself to be a very effective redistributive mechanism, taking from richer areas and redistributing to poorer ones. In my area of South Yorkshire, I imagine that we are a net beneficiary of that, although the UK as a whole is net contributor.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and west Wales and the valleys are already recipients of funding for that category, but have been joined by Tees Valley and Durham, Lincolnshire and my own region of South Yorkshire, because those three regions have now sunk below the 75% threshold, too.

In preparing for the debate, I consulted the House of Commons Library, which, as ever, provided excellent independent assessment and support—I commend those in the Library for the work that they always do for us—and confirmed the CPMR analysis. The Library said that, if anything, the CPMR report underestimated the position because it had not taken account of southern Scotland, which would have been eligible, and added that

“the ‘Outer London
East and North East
region is also on the borderline” for classification for support. The amount of funding for which UK regions could have been eligible may have been even higher than in the CPMR analysis.