North East MSP Mike Rumbles has raised concerns that long-term EU loans for vital infrastructure projects, like the expansion of Aberdeen Harbour, are being put at risk by the UK government’s divisive rhetoric on Brexit.
£200million of the £400million upgrade are due to be funded through the European Investment Bank. But the grant application will require the approval of the banks president and member states of the European Union.
Mr Rumbles said: “The European Investment Bank and many member states have been left reeling following weeks of divisive language on Brexit from the Prime Minster and the UK Government.
“It may all be political point scoring for the Tories, but the harbour investment could make a huge difference to the lives of people in Aberdeen and the North East. It could be the difference between rejuvenating our North Sea industries and struggling to get back on our feet for years to come.
“It’s past time the Chancellor and the UK Government outlined their plans, and set out guarantees that major funding agreements like this one will not be put at risk.”
Notes for editors:
- £200 million to expand Aberdeen harbour link
- 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.
- President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer told the Financial Times this week that recent levels of lending to the UK “cannot be maintained”
- All projects applying low-cost loans from the EIB must be approved by other EU member states.
- 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