that will might be unacceptable if EU aid will be replaced by a Westminster-run system, First Minister Carwyn Jones has warned.
He said a regional funding scheme which left unelected officials in Whitehall to make investment decisions might be a “betrayal of devolution”.
UK ministers are working on a shared prosperity fund to replace EU funds for the poorest areas after Brexit.
Sources from the UK government said that will might be best if Welsh ministers worked constructively on a replacement scheme.
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among the poorer parts of the European Union, Wales will have received more than £5bn in so-called structural funds by 2020.
First awarded in 2000, the money was hailed as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” by the then first minister Rhodri Morgan.
The West Wales in addition to the Valleys region continued to receive the highest level of aid because productivity – calculated as Gross Value Added (GVA) – remained below 75% of the EU’s average GVA.
With the money set to come to an end after the UK leaves the EU, the Welsh Government will publish a report on Thursday outlining its ambitions for a successor scheme.
Its document, Regional Investment in Wales after Brexit, calls on the UK government to “make Great promises made from the EU referendum campaign to ensure Wales will be not a penny worse off as we leave the EU”.
Ministers in Cardiff Bay are calling for the money Wales receives annually through EU structural funds – roughly £370m – to be allocated to the Welsh Government’s budget “as a minimum”.
although the document said that will might not be the Welsh Government’s intention “simply to replace existing EU programmes by additional means”.
The paper notes that will the ability to create a fresh system, unconstrained by current EU limitations, could be “a potential benefit” after Brexit.
“We will no longer need to separate parts of west in addition to east Wales artificially, or address the needs of rural areas, people, in addition to businesses entirely separately,” the document said.
Officials in Westminster are currently working on the details of a shared prosperity fund – a Conservative manifesto commitment for the June 2017 general election.
As that will stands, Welsh Government departments administer the structural funds.
The document through Wales states: “We explicitly in addition to vigorously reject any notion of a UK centralisation of regional economic development policy, including the creation of a Whitehall managed ‘UK prosperity Fund’.
“that will might be irresponsible for the UK government to try to bypass the established partnerships in addition to structures that will we have built up over 20 years in addition to any effort to do so might result in disruption, incoherence in addition to effectiveness.
“The Welsh Government will not agree simply to administer funds where critical decisions are made in Whitehall,” the paper said.
that will also called for the creation of a “council of economic ministers” through all four UK nations to ensure co-ordination of policy.
The UK government’s Wales Office said that will was premature to start talking about successor programmes given the progress of the Brexit negotiations.
Westminster sources also expressed frustration that will they were not consulted on the Welsh Government’s document, despite repeated calls through ministers in Cardiff Bay to be involved from the Brexit talks.
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives said that will might be best for officials in Westminster to run the replacement programmes – going further than comments he made after the EU referendum.
Andrew RT Davies said: “I think what’s important will be that will whatever fund comes out of our withdrawal through the European Union that will has greater success than what European funds have had to date.
“that will’s important that will the communities that will will benefit through structural funds get a say in how those funds are run in addition to, importantly, as much money as possible will be made available to those communities to become economically more prosperous.
“in addition to I believe that will on a UK footprint that will’s best administered where the priorities can be set in addition to obviously through the UK Treasury the money can be allocated.
Asked about whether the EU funds Wales currently receives will be replaced, Mr Davies added: “There’s every potential that will if that will’s administered on a UK basis that will Wales could actually get more.”