MIDLOTHIAN LEADERS BACKING FM’S ACTIONS IN FACE OF RUDDERLESS UK PARTIES

Owen Thompson MP has today backed Midlothian Council leaders calling on the UK Government to give reassurances over concerns about the future of EU funding to the region.

Midlothian Council Leader Catherine Johnstone (SNP) has today (Monday) asked council chiefs to detail the impact on Midlothian and to seek assurances from the UK Government following last weeks unexpected vote to leave the European Union. The SNP led council fears that the loss of EU funding, which has been used to fund schools and other vital projects, will impact on the county’s economy, infrastructure and opportunities for its residents.

Owen Thompson MP said:

“I am deeply disappointed at the result of the EU referendum as we now have a situation where we are facing the prospect of being dragged out of Europe despite every part of Scotland voting clearly to remain. I have concerns over the impact this could have on us here in Midlothian given how many of our community projects have benefitted from European funding and the uncertainty this situation must bring them.”

“I also want to reassure our many European friends and neighbours living here that they are still welcome and their contribution to our communities are welcome. I fully support the efforts of our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in seeking to take whatever steps necessary to ensure the clear will to remain in Europe expressed by our community is enacted and will continue to make the case to recognise the positive impact Europe has on our community here in Midlothian.”

Councillor Catherine Johnstone, Leader of the SNP Council Group said:

“I will be doing everything in my power to make sure that Midlothian’s interests are protected following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. I have today asked that the UK Government provide me with an absolute reassurance that Midlothian will not be worse off following the disappointing result last week. “

Councillor Kelly Parry, Group Spokesperson for Finance said:

“We will be insisting that the council receives investment equal to that which was previously provided by EU programmes. I am currently working with finance colleagues in Midlothian Council to fully understand the impact. With the Tories and the Labour Party in meltdown it is clear that we must take control of the situation ourselves.”

The SNP council group will also move to formally back the First Ministers plan to remain in the EU at its full council meeting on Tuesday.  Midlothian voted 61.1% to remain a member of the European Parliament, just above the Scottish average of 61%.