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18 Aug 2022

‘Derry must not pay the price of Brexit destruction'

Councillor McGowan was commenting ahead of tabling a motion at the Council’s monthly meeting

‘Derry must not pay the price of Brexit destruction'

There are many organisations in Derry Council area which rely on support from the European Social Fund to maintain their services

Organisations in Derry which play a vital role in supporting communities should not have to pay the price of the ‘damaging and destructive Tory/DUP Brexit’, Sinn Féin Councillor John McGowan has said.

Councillor McGowan was commenting ahead of tabling a motion at the Council’s monthly meeting calling for the replacement of vital European funding lost as a result of Brexit.

“A huge number of groups and organisations throughout this constituency relied on funding previously provided by the EU,” he said.

“The European Social Fund financed employability programmes which help young people and people with disabilities to get back into work while the European Regional Development Fund assists the growth of small businesses and the transition to a zero carbon economy.

“That has now been lost as a result of Brexit and the British Government has completely failed to honour its promise to replace this funding. In fact, the so-called Shared Prosperity Fund it created leaves the North over £90m short of the £195m we received when we were in the EU.

“That is potentially devastating for countless organisations that rely on this funding. They should not have to pay the price for the damaging and destructive Brexit imposed on us all by the DUP and the Tory Party.

“We need to see this funding properly replaced. We need to hear what the Economy Minister is doing to address this issue and we need to see an Executive back up and running as the best way to bring some pressure to bear on the British Government to deliver on its commitments.”

The full text of Councillor McGowan's motion reads: "That this Council commends the huge contribution of many organisations in this Council area which rely on support from the European Social Fund to maintain their services; recognises the uncertainty that these organisations now face as a result of Brexit and the ongoing failure of the British Government to provide adequate replacement funding; and calls on the Economy Minister to provide clarity over future arrangements and the British Treasury to replace the funding that has been lost."

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