Today I have written to Eric Pickles, Lord Smith, Owen Paterson MP and Brandon Lewis MP to ask for the UK Government to apply for EU flood funding as a matter of urgency. It is only our own money back!
I write to you today as a representative for the West Midlands region, where Worcestershire has been severely affected by the recent flooding.
The UK now ought to apply to European Union Solidarity Fund and reclaim some of our taxes.
The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was set up to respond to major natural disasters and express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. The Fund was created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002.
The UK has only once applied for assistance, in June 2007, in response to flooding. €162 million was given.
Over the weekend, more money has been given to the EU than has been given to the victims of flooding. This is wrong. We must apply for this money as a matter of urgency. As you may well know, the UK is a net contributor to the European Union and therefore I think it is of upmost importance that we claim a refund on this money to help those who need it during these incredibly difficult weather conditions. Better still, not pay into the EU at all.
This fund must be applied for within 10 weeks, and the clock is now ticking. I urge you to apply for this money as a matter of urgency.
I would also urge that you ensure that the full grant is used for the flood in accordance to EU rules, and does not get diverted or returned by HM Treasury, as was allegedly the case in 2007 with £79 million of the £110 million granted to the UK by the fund in 2007.