Today Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, welcomed the publication of proposals for a post-industrial Brexit policy. The publication is the work of the Industrial Communities Alliance (ICA), the local authority association campaigning on behalf of councils in the industrial areas of England, Scotland and Wales.
The policy outlines a range of steps to ensure post-industrial areas do not lose out from a lack of EU funding post-Brexit. In particular the policy refers to the creation of a UK Shared Prosperity Fund, intended to be around £1.5 billion a year, to replace EU funding.
Mr Beattie spoke at a launch event in Glasgow, acknowledging the publication and outlining how it could align with Scottish politics.
Mr Beattie remarked:
'I firmly welcome this publication. These proposals are a strong step in the right direction to ensuring post-industrial communities in East Lothian/Midlothian continue to receive the funding they need once we leave the EU.
'Research indicates that Scotland has an allocation of around £787 million in EU funding over 2014 to 2020. Some of this funding has gone towards initiatives such as the Tyne-Esk LEADER group, who support rural projects throughout East Lothian and Midlothian.
'The Horizon 2020 programme, which funds research and innovation projects, received around 2.7 million Euros between 2014 and 2016 for use in East Lothian and Midlothian.
'Initiatives such as these will drastically lose out if we don't take steps to mitigate the loss of EU funds. Clearly, the creation of a UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help ensure stability in the future.
'I have been closely involved with the Industrial Communities Alliance in my role as the convener, and I congratulate them on this forward-thinking document.
'I was pleased to have the opportunity to provide a Scottish perspective. I look forward to seeing this taken on board as we progress.'
The Post-Brexit Regional Policy can be found at http://www.industrialcommunitiesalliance.org/uploads/2/6/2/0/2620193/post-brexit_regional_policy__updated_.pdf