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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the oral contribution of 25 September 2019 from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Official Report Column 739, what support has been planned for fundamentally viable businesses in the North East in the event of supply chain and trade issues as a result of the UK leaving the EU on 31 October 2019.
Overall, the government has already made over £6.3bn available to prepare for EU exit. This includes £2 billion of core funding for departments for Brexit in 2020-21, which was confirmed in the recent Spending Round.
The Government has introduced significant and widespread measures to aid SMEs’ preparations for Brexit. We have created a £108m Brexit Business Preparedness Pot – which is being allocated across government.
The Government is supporting the North through devolution deals for, among others, Manchester, Liverpool, and, most recently, North of Tyne, as well as through over £13 billion of investment in better transport across the north. In addition, we have invested over £3 billion from the local growth fund in the region since 2015, and we committed at the last Budget to announce a renewed northern powerhouse strategy.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the Government has guaranteed funding for certain EU funded projects agreed before the end of 2020. This includes EU funded research projects, where UK organisations successfully bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis, and ensures that UK charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime, even in a no deal scenario.
The UK economy remains resilient but we will continue to closely monitor any developments in economic risks to firms, sectors, and regions. Should circumstances require, the government will take the necessary action to support the UK economy through the transition.