Conservative rhetoric on Europe putting vital infrastructure at risk
Long-term EU loans for vital infrastructure projects across the UK are being put at risk due to the Conservative government’s divisive rhetoric and failure to plan properly for Brexit, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron has warned.
Last year the European Investment Bank provided a record £5.6 billion of long-term investment to the UK including for social housing, hospitals and schools. But the President of the Bank has warned that this level cannot be maintained and that UK projects will find it increasingly difficult to get loans approved by other EU members.
Major UK loans which are yet to be signed off by the bank include:
- £500 million to upgrade signalling on the London Underground
- £400 million to expand Aberdeen Harbour
- £375m to buy trains for the new East Anglia rail passenger franchise
- £100m to upgrade the Port of Dover
- £100m to upgrade hospitals in Hampshire
- £70 million to upgrade Swansea University campus
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:
“This investment improves the lives of people across the country - upgrading hospitals, building affordable homes and improving transport links.
“Now vital projects risk missing out on future funding, and the Conservatives are not helping with divisive, anti-foreigner rhetoric that alienates our EU partners.
“Philip Hammond must urgently come up with a plan to secure long-term investment in the UK and prevent Brexit from wrecking our economy. That should include remaining a member of the Single Market and the EU Investment Bank.
“The Liberal Democrats will hold this Tory Brexit government to account and fight to keep Britain open, tolerant and united.”