Wales politics

PM fails to re-assure Plaid over EU regional aid

As I write, the prime minister is answering questions from MPs on all matters European.

Plaid Cymru's Elfyn Llwyd used the opportunity to seek re-assurance that the EU's regional aid budget - which has sent vast sums into the poorest parts of Wales - wouldn't be cut.

If Mr Llwyd was hoping for re-assurance, he may leave the Commons a disappointed man.

David Cameron told him: "There is a need for some cutbacks in the overall cohesion and structural funds budget of the European union given the fiscal constraints that the net contributors are operating under.

"I also think we should be frank and honest as a country in saying that yes, of course there are regions of the UK that still benefit and should go on benefiting from structural funds, but on the whole structural funds should be for the poorest regions and the poorest countries and actually Britain's negotiating position is different to many other countries in that we don't go to Brussels and simply try and defend every penny that we receive.

"We try and seek an outcome that is right for the whole of the European Union and you can't argue forever for restraining a budget if you want to keep hold of structural funds for countries that are better off than most."

I suspect Plaid Cymru, and others, may return to this subject.