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Wales ‘deceived’ over EU funding say Labour as Alun Cairns confirms ‘not a penny less’ claim was misleading

01 Sep 2022 4 minute read
The Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns. Picture by Number 10 (CC BY-NC 2.0).

A Welsh Labour MP has accused the UK Government of “deceit” after it was revealed that they knew at the time knew that their claim that “not a penny less” on EU funding would go to Wales was deliberately misleading.

Will Hayward’s new book Independent Nation: Should Wales Leave the UK includes an interview with Alun Cairns in which he makes it clear that he knew that the intention was that EU funds would be allocated by Westminster rather than the Welsh Government after Brexit.

The Conservatives promised that Wales would receive “not a penny less” as a result of Brexit during their 2019 General Election campaign, but did not make it clear that the money would not be going to the Welsh Government, which had decided how the money would be spent since 1999.

In the book, Will Hayward says that Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns “knew full well what the reaction would be if people in Wales knew that the plan was for former EU funds to be allocated by Westminster as opposed to the Welsh Government”.

Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens said that the revelation in the book “proves yet again that you can’t trust a single word Conservative ministers say”.

“Time and again, Tories including Johnson, Cairns, Hart and Davies repeated their manifesto promise that Wales wouldn’t receive a penny less in post-EU funding,” she said.

“As well as breaking their ‘not a penny less’ promise, the cat is now out of the bag that they knew people thought the money would go to Welsh Government to decide how to spend and they deliberately concealed the fact that it wouldn’t.

“Both Truss and Sunak have been part of this Tory government deceit. Whichever of them becomes Prime Minister next week, they won’t change.”

‘Candid’

In the book Alun Cairns is quoted as saying of the 2019 General Election campaign: “Boris was on board. When he came down to a hustings debate, we were briefing him and I said: ‘You will get the question, about European aid, [and] in the manifesto we have got to make the commitment that there won’t be a penny less.’

“To quote, Boris said to me: ‘We want to control that, don’t we?’ and I said: ‘Yes, but you can’t say that… because it will really spark a political debate in Wales, because we haven’t yet explained the commitment that you get the same money but it will be localised to a greater degree than the centralised approach that you get for the Welsh government.’

“I said to the Prime Minister: ‘The answer you’ve got to give’ – and he stuck to it absolutely – ‘is that we’ll be using good Conservative principles on how it should be spent.’ And if you look back to the quotes, that’s exactly what he said in his answer. You know, not once did we deny it, but we hadn’t laid the ground to explain.”

He added: “I’ve been very candid there.”

Reacting to this revelation, Will Hayward, who is the Welsh Affairs Editor at WalesOnline, said that it demonstrates why the UK as currently constituted did not function.

“To have a true union of equal nations, the component parts of the UK need to be treated as partners, not rivals,” he said.

“The introduction of devolution was the acknowledgement that decisions should be made closer to the people they affect, and this has been repeatedly supported by the people of Wales in both elections and referendums.”

You can read a review of Independent Nation – Should Wales leave the UK? here. Independent Nation: Should Wales leave the UK? costs £20 and can be ordered now.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

This is not a surprise. When any Tory says ANYTHING, the default setting is LIE. In the unlikely event that there will be any truth to be found in any statement they make, this will only be established after conducting a lengthy investigation and who has time to do that? They don’t deserve anyones’ precious time to be wasted on this. Just accept LIE and move on.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago

RT, it’s over to you.

You’re usually pretty quick with a comment. Any comment to make on this?

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

RT thinks has a get out of jail card, his answer to things like this is, he does not comment on UK gov things, as he is a MS not a MP, he has used this in the past, when it has suited him, lol.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

In that case, I await Janet Finch-Saunders to blame Mark Drakeford for it all, and little Natasha to demand Cardiff Airport be sold.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nobby Tart
The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Don’t forget James Evans he can usually be relied on to come out with some award winning BS

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Bare faced liars and traitors…begins with T four letters…

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

The sad part about this is, no matter how much of a liar a Tory elected official is proven to be, he will be re-elected, a Tory I know, said after the collapsed rape trial that led to Cairns having to resign his gov post, “I will vote for Cairns if he stand again, because I vote for the party, not the candidate”. This is the mindset we are up against.

Kurt Constable
Kurt Constable
1 month ago

It was so obvious would would not get the funds. Because we got EU money on the back of not being funded by the UK government in the firstplace, left to rot. Anyone in Cymru who backed thew hard right Tory Brexit, are people with no love for our country.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

I’m in the middle of reading Will Hayward’s book and it certainly raises a few questions. Ultimately, the UK is at a turning point, it’s backward, outdated, colonialist politics is now pulling the country apart and yet the powers that be in Westminster just don’t see it. Whether they like it or not change is coming. Either Westminster changes or changes will eventually affect it. I don’t think the institute can now change, it’s too set in its ways. So the end of the Union is on the horizon.

Brian
Brian
1 month ago

My name is Alun Cairns and I am a traitor.

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

Oh gosh! The tories were lying, well blow me down with a feather,

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
1 month ago

The Conservatives promised that Wales would receive “not a penny less” as a result of Brexit during their 2019 General Election campaign, but did not make it clear that the money would not be going to the Welsh Government, which had decided how the money would be spent since 1999. In the book, [Independent Nation: Should Wales Leave the UK] Will Hayward says that Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns “knew full well what the reaction would be if people in Wales knew that the plan was for former EU funds to be allocated by Westminster as opposed to the… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Deceived is an understatement. We were lied to from start to finish. And the Conservative”taking back control” slogan was not only applicable to the EU but the devolved nations too.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
1 month ago

Alun Cairns should be totally ashamed of himself. The disrespect and derision he shows towards his country would bring shame to most decent people. He doesn’t deserve to represent his constituents but hopefully he’ll be kicked out at the next election. His constituents and the country deserve better.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 month ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

Assuming that the Welsh media gets around to reporting Cairns’ admission, then certainly he will have lost his party some seats in the next Senedd and Westminster elections, and may even find himself losing his own seat. Nice work, big man!
Frankly, I’m appalled at his effrontery in letting the cat out of the bag in the course of an interview as if lying to the Welsh people was an acceptable thing for his government to do.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rhosddu
Windy
Windy
1 month ago

Cairns has admitted to being a liar to the Welsh people including the ones who voted for him he should forever be treated as as the traitor he is

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