Labour MEPs today called on the UK government to cooperate with the European Commission to release EU funding for England immediately, following a meeting with the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu.
Derek Vaughan MEP, Labour's European spokesperson on regional funding, said:
"It is scandalous that €7 billion (£5.5bn) is lying unused. Other countries are already utilising this regional funding, but the Tories' inaction means England is missing out.
"The UK government must work quickly and efficiently with the European Commission, without further delay, so we can receive funding which is vital for businesses, projects and jobs across England.
"At today's meeting with Ms Creţu, we raised Labour's concerns and asked what steps can be taken to speed up the process.
"The Commissioner told us it is now up to the UK government to work with the Commission to ensure funds can be released as soon as possible.
"The UK government must demonstrate they can manage the funds properly and show they will work with local stakeholders to deliver projects."