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Labour vows to replace NI peace money after Brexit

By Andrew Woodcock

Published 27/09/2016

Labour has made a multi-billion pound pledge to make up any shortfalls in funding resulting from Britain's departure from the European Union - including peace and reconciliation funds for Northern Ireland.

The promise at the party's annual conference in Liverpool by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry guarantees that future Labour governments will match EU structural funding - currently worth £9.3bn - from 2014 to 2020.

For Northern Ireland alone, the allocation of structural funding in the same period is worth £530m.

With the backing of shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Ms Thornberry has plans for a fully protected fund to substitute for the lost EU schemes into the future - likely to be a key policy of Labour's next general election manifesto.

Ms Thornberry said: "Without long-term certainty over funding, our most deprived regions and communities cannot plan ahead. They cannot attract other investment. They cannot make progress.

"So thanks to John McDonnell, Labour's shadow chancellor, we can guarantee that a future Labour government will make up any shortfall in structural funding into the 2020s and beyond. And the same will go for the funding of peace and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland."

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