Rennie: Tories putting infrastructure investment at risk

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP today warned that anti-EU rhetoric from senior Conservatives is putting hundreds of millions of pounds of infrastructure investment at risk.

Mr Rennie was speaking after the President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) warned the UK that current levels of lending cannot be maintained in light of the Brexit vote. Loans from the EIB have to be approved by EU member states, meaning while existing lending is protected any new projects in the UK will find it increasingly difficult to obtain loans.

Projects in Scotland which are currently waiting to hear whether they will secure support from the EIB include housing and renewable energy projects. Managers of the housing project alone had applied for around £150m in EU funding.

Mr Rennie has called on Ruth Davidson and David Mundell to rein in their senior Tory colleagues and put Scotland before their narrow party interest.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

“The President of the EIB has made clear that current levels of investment in the UK from the bank cannot be maintained and the divisive rhetoric we have seen from senior Tories will make it easy for other EU states to say no to new investment.

“Dodgy schemes that would see firms required to publish the names of foreign workers will not help endear us to our partners overseas. Senior Tories are putting hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in Scotland at risk.

“Ruth Davidson and David Mundell sit round the cabinet table with the Prime Minister and Amber Rudd. They are as responsible for these announcements as any other senior Tory. They need to rein in their colleagues and put investment in Scotland ahead of narrow party interest.”

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