Things have moved on a bit in the argument about EU money to the UK to help regions hit by floods last summer, the subject of this post.
- NEW – Helga Truepel MEP is now on the warpath on this one, having written a press release on the issue (EN | DE) demanding clarifications from the UK government, and she’s also written a letter (PDF file here) to the chair of the EP’s Budgets Committee, Reimer Böge, demanding action – including inviting John Healey to Budgets Committee. Oh, that would be fun!
- The Yorkshire Post has printed a new article on the topic, citing Richard Corbett’s critique of what’s going on. Corbett’s line is completely right – the Treasury is at fault, and I do wonder whether Healy was correctly advised. HMT after all thinks it’s the only reasonable economic ministry anywhere in Europe – I would beg to differ.
- Neither of the other Labour MEPs potentially implicated in this – Linda McAvan (Corbett’s colleague in the North West) or Glyn Ford (South West) have said anything about the matter. Not much of a surprise I suppose, even though McAvan is a member of the EP’s environment committee. Glyn Ford’s website doesn’t even seem to have a functioning news function.
- Graham Watson, Lib Dem MEP for the South West, has commented on the mess, as reported by the Aberavon & Neath Lib Dems.
- The Ulster Unionists also have a position on this – demanding the Northern Ireland gets its full share of the money. Well, of £31 million I suppose?
- There’s an interesting theory of why the government had to take this action in the comments on my previous post.
Let me also make this clear: whatever you think of the UK’s budget rebate (for the record: I hate it) and whether the flood hit regions should get £31 million or £110 million (for the record: I want them to get £110 million), one thing is crystal clear in all of this: the decision to reduce the payment from from £110 million to £31 million was taken by the UK Government – the Treasury – and not by any bureaucrat, politician or official in Brussels.