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Governments warned not to let ‘power grab’ row get in way of Tay Cities Deal

Willie Rennie
Willie Rennie

Fears have been raised that the Brexit fall-out between the UK and Scottish governments could hamper the Tay Cities Deal.

The long-awaited funding package is worth up to £1.8 billion to Tayside and North East Fife, and could create as many as 15,000 jobs.

The SNP has threatened to withdraw their co-operation with the UK Government during an escalation of the “power grab” row over returning Brussels competences.

Adam Tomkins, for the Scottish Conservatives, warned any Nationalist retreat from the joint ministerial committees could sever the “vital link between Scotland’s two governments and ensure important projects like city and regional deals are operated successfully”.

Willie Rennie, the Fife MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, said the SNP must “think again” if it is “seriously considering walking away from the joint ministerial committees”.

“It’s time that both of Scotland’s governments worked together to deliver for the Tay Cities region,” he added.

Earlier, Scotland’s Economy Secretary Keith Brown backed Dundee’s SNP leader John Alexander in a call for the Tay Cities Deal to be signed off this month.

Mr Brown told MSPs: “I am keen to support his request and that of the partners to that deal to agree a heads of terms by the end of this month.”

A wish-list of more than 50 projects have been submitted by councils in Courier Country to capitalise on the multi-billion pound oil decommissioning industry, as well as transport improvements and investment in businesses and the arts.

UK minister Lord Duncan told The Courier nearly a year ago that he hoped the deal would be in place in early 2018.

During a visit to Dundee last week, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “I want to see the deal agreed soon but I don’t want to give a false date.”

Mr Alexander said: “We will continue to work with the Scottish and UK governments to reach heads of terms agreement as soon as possible.”

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