Fears that projects receiving European aid could see the money dry up a year early appear to have been quashed by assurances given to the Welsh Government by the Treasury. Yesterday, the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond said that from this autumn only UK approved spending would be guaranteed after Britain leaves the EU in 2019.
Wales had been due to receive about £2 billion in the period 2014-2020, most of it for West Wales and the Valleys. ITV News understands that the Welsh Government has now been told that in keeping with the devolution settlement, approval by ministers in Cardiff Bay will be enough to satisfy the Treasury that it will be money well spent.
At the Conservative party conference, the Welsh Secretary, Alun Cairns, has been highly critical of how the Welsh Government has spent European aid money. He suggested that after 2020, UK government rules will replace the EU rules that the Welsh Government currently has to follow.
A Welsh Government source said they'd been left wondering if the Secretary of State knew about what they see as a vote of confidence from the Chancellor in Cardiff Bay's control of European aid money.
The First Minister later formally welcomed the development.