As one of the consequences of EU referendum vote in June 2016, the UK Government has the dual problem of managing the UK’s exit from the EU – referred to by UK ministers as the ‘most complex negotiation of all time’ - while developing a domestic policy programme capable of responding to profound popular dissatisfaction with economic and social inequality across the UK.
The loss of EU Structural Funds, which have been part of the UK policy landscape for over 40 years, is one consequence of Brexit and involves important questions as to whether and what kind of domestic regional development approach will take their place at different spatial scales and levels of government.
A new book chapter by John Bachtler addresses the question ‘Brexit and regional development in the UK: what future for regional policy after Structural Funds?’. It reviews the evidence for the importance of territorial inequality in the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership, and then discusses the role and importance of EU Structural Funds in the UK, past and present, before considering the future of domestic approaches to regional and local development.
The chapter is part of a new book ‘The Political Economy of Brexit’ edited by David Bailey and Lesley Budd, available here.