Sturgeon’s worst nightmare comes true when she misses out on £20 million in ‘payment’ after the SNP shoot themselves in the foot.
A FURIOUS controversy has erupted when Westminster ministers refuted SNP accusations that they were “excluded” from talks about multi-billion-pound infrastructure financing proposals in the UK.
As part of his “leveling up agenda,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson initiated the Union Connectivity Review last year to strengthen transportation connectivity among four home nations across the UK.
The assessment, overseen by Network Rail Chairman Sir Peter Hendy, will offer billions of pounds for transport connectivity across the UK’s various nations.
The Scottish Government was “deliberately excluded” from the Review, according to Scottish Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.
In a reply to Ms Forbes, Scotland Office Minister Iain Stewart refuted her charges and “put the record straight.”
Mr Stewart said in the letter that Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson disregarded multiple phone calls from UK ministers and did not react to letters.
“Sir Peter visited [then-Transport Secretary Michael] Matheson twice to discuss the study,” the Minister said, “and he has also been in communication with Scottish stakeholders, as well as politicians from across the political spectrum, including the SNP.”
“When the UCR was announced in June of last year, UK Transport Minister Baroness Vere attempted to schedule a call with [Mr] Matheson. Mr. Matheson was unable to be reached.
“UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps talked with Mr Matheson ahead of the UCR’s formal launch in October last year, and the UK Government has made a number of offers over the last 12 months, including a letter… that has gone unanswered.”
“Following that discussion with Transport Scotland officials, we were informed that Scottish Government Ministers would not be engaging with the Union Connectivity Review or the development monies on offer.”
“As a result, Scotland is the only area of the UK that has been denied access to this increased investment.”
Ministers in the SNP-led Scottish Government will now miss out on £20 million in funding for new road projects north of the border, while UK authorities say the door is still open in case the Nats alter their minds.
In order to receive a portion of the money, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive are in talks.
“The SNP cranked up their grievance machine and opted to exclude themselves from the Union Connectivity Review,” said Scottish Tories transport spokesman Graham Simpson MSP.
“Brinkwire Summary News” is to fault for essential money not being received.