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Brexit and Europe Brexit and Europe

Create a UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Last updated: 09:04pm 25 November 2019

A United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund, taken from money coming back to the UK as we leave the EU, to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations.” [page 30]
“We will use the structural fund money that comes back to the UK following Brexit to create a United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund…” [page 35]

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.30

Our verdict

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is the government’s pledge to replace the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) after we leave the EU. ESIF can be allocated to any region across the EU, but aims to promote social and economic development in the areas that need them most. It is estimated that the UK was allocated €16 billion (about £14 billion) for the period 2014-2020, so this is a really big deal for some areas of the UK.

Since the election, not much has happened to progress the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. In the 2017 Industrial Strategy the government reaffirmed its commitment to UK projects that are given funding ESIF before we leave the EU (though with caveats):

“We have committed to guarantee funding for any project signed while we are in the EU, even if it continues after we have left, so long as the project provides good value for money and aligns with domestic priorities.”

Then in April 2018 the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy published it’s paper on the Future of cohesion policy. This could be seen as cueing up the debate on UK Shared Prosperity Fund, but it’s not specifically mentioned anywhere in the document itself.

An open consultation was promised to be launched some time in 2018 but that didn’t happen. We assume it will follow in 2019, but haven’t seen it yet.

In the meantime then, it’s hard to say any of the developments have been meaningful enough to consider this policy ‘in progress’, so we’re marking it as ‘not started’. Follow this policy for updates.

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There's always room for debate

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