Wales politics

NI Brexit cash could break rules, Welsh Government says

Philip Hammond
Image caption Philip Hammond said budgets for devolved administrations would be examined in the Spending Review

Offering Northern Ireland more cash would show how "desperate" the UK government is to get the Brexit deal passed, the Welsh Government has said.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond said he would look again at the budgets of all devolved administrations later this year.

There is speculation the DUP may get more money to support the Brexit deal.

The Welsh Government said it was concerned rules for funding devolved administrations could be broken.

Mr Hammond said the deal would not return to the Commons for a third vote unless it has support from DUP and Tory MPs.

Most of the funding for the Welsh and Scottish Governments, and the Northern Ireland Executive, is through a block grant from the Treasury.

There has not been a devolved government in Northern Ireland since January 2017, when Martin McGuinness resigned as Sinn Fein's deputy first minister following a row over a renewable heat initiative.

It is now being run by civil servants and a budget for Northern Ireland was voted on by the Commons last week.

Over the weekend, Theresa May held talks with the Northern Irish unionist DUP party asking them to support her deal.

Later this year, spending plans for the next four to five years will be set out in the Chancellor's Spending Review.

Image caption The Conservatives and the DUP signed a deal in 2017 that saw the Northern Ireland unionist party support Theresa May's government

After the 2017 General Election the UK government gave Northern Ireland an extra £1bn in a move widely seen as a way of securing DUP support.

Mr Hammond told the Andrew Marr Show: "We haven't even started to look at it yet, but there will be a spending review.

"We hope that, once we've got Brexit dealt with, we will be able to revive power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland and then, of course, we will need to look at the spending review in Northern Ireland."

When the UK Government allocates new money for public spending in England, there is a corresponding amount which goes to other parts of the UK.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We have real concerns about the UK government being willing to ignore the established rules for allocating funding in the UK to strike a deal with the DUP and sending more funding to Northern Ireland without an equivalent share going to Wales, Scotland or England, simply to get its Brexit deal through.

"This would clearly show how desperate the UK government is to get its deal through the House of Commons, despite it being rejected twice already.

"It is simply not acceptable."

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