Last night I spoke in the European Parliament to call on government to guarantee all the EU funds promised to the North East and ensure adequate regional funding post-Brexit. You can watch or read the full speech below.
"For decades, the EU has channelled vital funding to the North East of England - my home region.
Between 2014 and 2020, we were set to receive over half a billion pounds in regional and social funding.
This money underpins our local economy, securing thousands of jobs, developing key infrastructure, driving real innovation and excellence in our region.
Following the Brexit vote, there is a real danger that one of the poorest English regions could be heavily out of pocket.
We were promised by Leave campaigners that Brexit would make us richer and that these funds would be protected. But ministers have only committed to underwrite contracts concluded by the Autumn Statement. This is not good enough.
Tonight, I call on the British government to guarantee that all EU funds promised are delivered and that longer term investment in regions like my own are guaranteed."