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£1.6bn fund to boost less well-off towns post Brexit is latest pledge from government

The government has pledged a £1.6bn fund to boost less well-off towns around the UK after Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said: “For too long in our country, prosperity has been unfairly spread… but we want it to work for all communities.”

More than half of the money will go to the North of England and the Midlands to bring jobs and stimulate growth.

However, Labour has accused the PM of attempting to influence MPS in leave-supporting areas to Back May’s Brexit deal. Her withdrawal deal was rejected last month by 230 votes, the biggest defeat for a sitting government in history.

In order to win another vote, which May has promised will be on or before March 12th, May could find herself relying on votes of Labour MPs from leave-voting parts of the country.

John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said the £1.6bn fund “smacks of desperation from the government reduced to bribing MPs to vote for their damaging flagship Brexit legislation.”

Labour MP, Alex Sobel, of the cross-party People’s Vote campaign, which wants a new referendum on Brexit, said it was a “drop in the ocean” compared to the cost of leaving the EU.

He said the annual loss to local economies would be more than enough to wipe out any potential return from his scheme.

However, the prime minister, insisted: “Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change – that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control.

“These towns have a glorious heritage, huge potential and, with the right help, a bright future ahead of them.” 

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