Wales politics

Post-Brexit aid details coming next year, says minister

Welsh flag and EU symbol
Image caption Wales will have received more than £5bn in so-called structural funds by 2020

Details about a new fund to replace EU economic aid for Wales after Brexit will be published "next year", a UK government minister has said.

Brexit Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said a "lot of progress" had been made, but the specifics of the Shared Prosperity Fund will not be introduced until 2020.

A full consultation on the details of the fund was due to be published by UK ministers before the end of 2018.

Welsh Government Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles called the delay "outrageous".

The new fund is intended to reduce inequalities across the four UK nations, according to the Conservatives.

As one of the poorer parts of the European Union, Wales will have received more than £5bn in so-called structural funds by 2020.

"We have made a lot of progress on trying to replace a lot of the EU's funds and also the regional way in which they allocate money," Mr Kwarteng told MPs.

"We've got the UK Shared Prosperity Fund - details of that will be introduced next year."

'Chaotic'

Plaid Cymru's Brexit spokesperson, Hywel Williams MP, who asked the question, said: "In a bizarre turn of events, the minister responded to a question about the EU's food protection schemes by talking about the Shared Prosperity Fund.

"Even in his answer to the question that I didn't ask, he gave a disappointing answer - confirming that the replacement of EU funding for Wales by Westminster continues to have no details despite us being promised them last year."

Mr Miles said Mr Kwarteng's announcement was a reminder of the Conservative government's "chaotic handling of all issues around Brexit, which is ultimately affecting businesses, people and communities across the UK".

"We need urgent clarity Wales will have replacement EU funding in full and that our devolved competences will be respected," he said.

"We simply cannot wait for the UK government to sort out its internal problems if we are to deliver a successful transition."

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