I recognise the role European structural funds have played in Wales and I believe the Welsh Government should be properly funded. I am glad that the UK Government has committed to matching current levels of funding for the devolved nations now that we have left the EU. The UK Government has provided just under £4 billion of additional funding to Wales during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is exciting that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be used to deliver real change across the United
Kingdom. It will prioritise tackling inequality and deprivation, creating more jobs and building our growing economy. It will also help to build an even closer Union across the four nations of the United Kingdom and provide financial reassurance to our local councils.
I have been assured that the UK Government is fully committed to respecting devolution and the devolved institutions. It is important that the Shared Prosperity Fund delivers for the people of Wales, and I am aware that there have been positive discussions between the two Governments on how it can be done successfully. You may also be interested to know that £2.3 billion of additional funding has been provided this year in response to the pandemic to support people, businesses and public services in Wales.
The provision in the Internal Market Bill provides UK Ministers with a single, comprehensive power to provide financial assistance in all parts of the United Kingdom across a range of policy areas. As is conventional, the UK Government has sought legislative consent for the clauses contained in this Bill from the Welsh Parliament for Wales. The new legal arrangements will give more power to the Welsh Government following the conclusion of the transition period at the end of this year, and no change will be made to the powers devolved administrations already have.