Interestingly, this wasn’t done before

Every pound of European Union funding will undergo a “national interest” test to see whether it should continue in the wake of Brexit, a Cabinet minister has said in a letter.

David Gauke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said that Britain will only match EU funding after the country leaves the bloc if it can be proved to benefit the nation.

Although to be honest my supposition is that after leaving we’ll not be on good enough terms to be getting funding for anything from that source.

14 thoughts on “Interestingly, this wasn’t done before”

  1. I think they meant “replace” not “match” although “correctly label” would be more accurate, since of course all that EU money came from member states.

  2. Sounds like a poor description of a decent policy to me.
    In the EU Britain spends X pounds per period on the EU’s priorities in Britain and sends a further Y pounds to the EU for them to spend elsewhere.
    On Exit we spend the X pounds initially in the same way as the EU used to direct and keep the Y pounds for ourselves.
    We then proceed to review how the X pounds are spent and adjust according to our priorities (as we continuously do with all public expenditure).
    Gives time to sort out which bits we want and which bits we don’t.

  3. The answer isn’t always obvious though. Let’s say there’s a pot of £1bn allocated to building new roads. You crunch your numbers, realise that Cornwall is poorly connected to the rest of the UK, so you decide to spend that money extending the M5 motorway all the way to Lands End. That’s the sort of thing that the EU’s regional aid budget was used for: no doubt you’ve seen roads in rural Portugal with big “Funded by the EU” signs (they’re everywhere in Greece).

    But the British government might look at the same pot of money and decide that widening the M25 would actually generate much more growth than extending the M5, because the southeast is such a wealthy region. So which policy is the right one?

  4. “(they’re everywhere in Greece)” including on surprisingly empty motorways, which partly answers the question.

  5. “Widening the M25”.

    Soon you’ll be able to get to Birmingham on the M25, just by changing lanes. Assuming the roadworks and queues permit. And the contraflows. You might find yourself in Exeter.

  6. BiJ,
    It’s not a perfect example. My point is, allocating money is as much a political decision as an economic one. You can’t just delegate it to technocrats.

  7. “Soon you’ll be able to get to Birmingham on the M25, just by changing lanes.”

    In all seriousness. The M25 is mostly four lane. A four lane car park, for much of the time. The new Malaga by-pass is 6 lane for a tenth the traffic density. The old inner one, still used, is 3 lane.

  8. “The M25 is mostly four lane. A four lane car park, for much of the time.”

    From my experience of driving on it, the fourth lane hasn’t had as big an impact as one would expect, for the simple reason that hardly anyone uses the second lane. Lorries in the first, cars in the third and fourth, because they can’t bear to be one lane further away from their precious outside lane where they can pootle along at 75mph taking two miles to overtake someone doing 74mph.

  9. The carrying capacity of a road is in inverse proportion to the difference in speeds of the vehicles using it.

  10. Or put more simply, the M25 becomes a car park because assoles insist on doing 85 in the outside lane.

  11. My experience of the M25, admittedly a bit sporadic, is that it’s impossible to do 85mph in any lane at any reasonable traffic density. It is possible when the density is so low due to statistical variation that 4 lanes aren’t necessary. However it always seems to be pretty much a car park between Watford & Heathrow at any time.

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