Westminster will assume new powers to fund projects in Scotland and Wales despite claims of "regional takeover".
- Ministers will have powers to finance infrastructure projects in Scotland and Wales
- With the Single Market Act, Westminster will finance and operate regeneration programs currently run by the European Union
- Infrastructure programs are currently reserved for delegated powers
- SNP has warned that any move to change this would be viewed as a "takeover".
Ministers will take on new powers today to finance infrastructure projects in Scotland and Wales despite warnings against reversing decentralization.
With the Single Market Act, Westminster will finance and run regeneration programs currently run by the EU.
Sources said this could lead ministers to pour funds into projects such as the proposed M4 auxiliary road in south Wales, which was rejected by the Welsh Assembly last year on grounds of pollution and cost.
Infrastructure programs are currently reserved for the decentralized administrations.
The SNP has already warned that any move to change this will be viewed as a “takeover”.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Question Time in the UK House of Commons on September 2, 2020. With the Single Market Act, Westminster will finance and run regeneration programs currently run by the EU
However, government sources indicated that the funding was not previously under the control of the Edinburgh and Cardiff administrations.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove said decentralized governments would experience a “power surge” after Brexit, adding: “Unelected EU bodies will no longer spend our money on us. These new buying powers will result in these decisions being made in the UK now, focused on UK priorities and accountable to the UK Parliament and the people of the UK. "
The new legislation will also ensure that decentralized administrations will not be able to create internal barriers to trade by imposing different standards on food and other goods after Brexit if the related EU laws expire.
A new independent internal market office will oversee disputes.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove is returning to Downing Street in central London after attending the temporary cabinet meeting held at the Foreign Office to review social distancing guidelines due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in London, England yesterday to adhere to
Economy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “For centuries, the UK's single market has been the cornerstone of our common prosperity, providing unprecedented stability and economic growth across the Union.
"Today's bill will protect our highly integrated market by guaranteeing that companies will continue to operate freely in all parts of the UK after the transition period and the end of EU law."
“Without these necessary reforms, the way we trade goods and services between home countries could be seriously affected and the way we do business within our own borders.
"Now is not the time to create uncertainty for companies with new barriers and additional costs that would affect our chances of economic recovery."
The legislation will also officially confirm that responsibility for state aid subsidies to weak industries rests with Westminster, and not with the decentralized governments.
Government sources denied that the changes represented a takeover, saying dozens of powers previously overseen by the EU would now take place in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
Areas of decentralization include air quality, energy efficiency and elements of labor law. No powers of the decentralized administrations are currently being reclaimed.