Brexit was ‘worst case of self harm’

Brexit was the “worst case of self harm” ever seen, according to an SIC councillor.

Shetland Central’s Davie Sandison made the gloomy assessment after hearing about the UK government’s attempts to replace EU funding with far lesser sums.

The “UK Shared Prosperity Fund” will provide Shetland with £1.859m from 2022-25, as replacement for EU structural and investment funds – a figure which SIC members felt was a “considerable drop”.

Speaking at today’s (Wednesday) special council meeting, Mr Sandison said: “It’s very clear to me that we are almost compounding the downsides of Brexit every time we come up with a report like this.”

Depute leader Gary Robinson was also dismissive of the UK government’s funding offer.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that this is significantly less than we might otherwise have seen, although clearly there’s not a lot we can do about that now,” he said.

“I would reflect, though, that the comment used to be that European money was just our taxes that we got back.

“We seemed to get significantly more back from Brussels than we appear to be getting back from Westminster, which is obviously regrettable.”

Mr Robinson noted that as far back as 2006 the SIC’s head of development had reported that Shetland had received £275m of EU funding – adding that the Mareel project alone received £2.8m.

A number of councillors quizzed the SIC’s economic development manager Tommy Coutts on how the UK government’s offer compared.

Although Mr Coutts said it was “awful difficult to give a definitive answer” he eventually conceded that colleagues felt it was a “lower value”.

“That’s probably as far as I can go without straying into political territory,” he said.

Mr Coutts said the council had been asked to complete an investment plan on how it would use the funding by August.

He said the SIC had decided to prioritise projects currently funded through EU schemes, specifically employability services.

“It’s considered essential to continue that provision to support people with barriers to employment and support vulnerable individuals’ access to jobs,” he said.

The council will also seek to use the finding to support the development of energy skills transition, local place planning activity and rural retail services.

Around £321,000 of the funding must be allocated to the “Multiply” programme, which is a new scheme to develop adult numeracy.

Councillors agreed the approach and granted delegated authority to chief executive Maggie Sandison to submit the investment plan on the council’s behalf.


Add Your Comment
  • Sam Simmonds (ne Garriock)

    • June 23rd, 2022 13:24

    Yes, Davie, of course it was an appalling case of self-harm but that, unfortunately, is what happens in a referendum when outrageous lies are happily accepted by a gullible and complaisant electorate. It is, perhaps, too early to say whether secession from the United Kingdom and application for re-entry to the European Union will redress this huge error of judgment but it might be worth consideration.

    • Ali Inkster

      • June 23rd, 2022 15:01

      On the contrary the self harm comes from corrupt politicians not delivering what was voted for and giving us remain by another name.
      Aided and abetted by media and members of the public unable to accept majority rule, is democracy.
      As I stated all along we did be far better aff clear o da lot a dem.

  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • June 24th, 2022 8:20

    Remoaners are at it again. Perhaps the most dangerous pandemic in recent history all but closing down the Global economy may just limit the grant funds available.
    As for the EU granting Mareel project alone £2.8m, well that has proved just money well flushed down the drain. Have we anything to show for the Mareel White Elephant apart from a Bar, Cinema, Cafe and a “plastic gin palace” as a base for Shetland Arts?
    Does or has Mareel generated one piece of creative art or creative artist that remotely equates to what Shetlanders produced before Mareel. (Aly Bain, Violet Tulloch, Willie Hunter et al)
    With reference to the EU, all now well exposed. a leadership of headless chickens when confronted with Russia’s genocide of the Ukraine. Macrons comment about non humiliation of Putin and the Germans feeble posturing on Russian Gas!! As for Hungary need one say more, all very sad. They (the EU leadership) make Boris’s lot look united and decisive!!!!! Heaven help us all.

  • David Spence

    • June 27th, 2022 17:16

    Wouldn’t the Tories prefer to have a trade deal with the US (with the UK acting as gateway to the EU for the USA, but getting little or nothing for it?) and justification for leaving the EU, to warrant the complete privatisation of most government responsibilities and duties of care going to US companies where, typical Tory, the Tories will benefit immensely from such a deal, regardless to the harm it will cause to the general population?

  • Mr ian Tinkler

    • June 28th, 2022 10:49

    Do we not all benefit from trade deals, US or otherwise? As the Brexit vote was quite independant of political parties I find David Spence’s comments a little outwith logic. His comments; “justification for leaving the EU, to warrant the complete privatisation of most government responsibilities and duties of care going to US companies ” not only are nonsense but actually events prove them idiotic.
    We have, nor appear likely to have any trade deal with the USA. Just how are the wicked Tories benefiting so immensely?


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