Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Northern Ireland peace funding is in danger, says MEP

Northern Ireland could lose out on the next tranche of European peace money because of the stance of the British Government, an MEP has warned.

Ulster Unionist Jim Nicholson said Prime Minister David Cameron’s insistence on an EU budget freeze could leave local groups facing uncertainty.

He sounded the alarm as European leaders met in Brussels yesterday for crunch negotiations, with Britain opposed to a 5% rise in the EU budget.

“The Peace and Reconciliation Fund is in my opinion now in grave danger of not being extended past 2014,” Mr Nicholson argued.

“Northern Ireland cannot afford to lose this slice of funding. The UK (Government), because of its position on the budget — they want to freeze the budget, are not prepared to make the request for the extra funds.”

Mr Nicholson said it could be next February before a decision on Peace IV funding is known.

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