Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has raised concerns that the Western Isles are set to lose out on hundreds of thousands of pounds of local funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Structural Fund (ESF) as a result of Brexit.
Large scale projects such as the Western Isles Spinal Route have in the past been funded by grants through both the ERDF and the ESF.
With the UK leaving the European Union in 6 weeks, the money from these schemes, which have been used to invest in infrastructure, connectivity and employment, will no longer be available to the UK.
The funds have been available for more than 40 years and have invested £5.6 billion in the UK.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented:
“As the deadline for a Brexit deal gets closer and closer, we are starting to see the devastating impact that leaving the EU will have on local communities.
“Initiatives funded by the ERDF and ESF like the Scalpay Bridge have brought real benefits to people here and across Scotland and it is extremely disappointing that we will know longer have access to those funds.
“If the UK government continues on its trajectory of grabbing funding and powers from Scotland, then we may never see this money again – the lack of transparency on any future replacement is very worrying.
“Scotland is once again bearing the brunt of a Brexit we did not vote for as we are dragged out of the EU. An independent Scotland within the European Union would still have access to these funding streams.”