UK exploring EIB relationship

The Treasury has confirmed the UK’s intention to explore options for a future relationship with the European Investment Bank (EIB); MPs call for GBP120bn infrastructure package

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Robert Jenrick has provided a response to a series of questions from Labour MP Catherine McKinnell to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond on the UK’s current and future relationship with the EIB.

The UK will cease to be a member of the EIB Group (consisting of the EIB and EIF) on exit day, as membership is only available to EU member states. Under the terms of the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has secured the return of its EUR3.5bn capital in the EIB through 12 annual instalments.

Jenrick explained alongside the terms of exit set out in the EU Withdrawal Agreement the Political Declaration, which sets out the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK and states that both parties note the UK's intention to explore options for a future relationship with the EIB Group.

“As we leave the EU, we continue to consider options for our future relationship and discussions on this will form part of the wider negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship” he added.

However Jenrick warned the government recognises the need to be prepared for a range of scenarios.

“The government already has a range of existing tools to support infrastructure finance, including the UK Guarantees Scheme and funds that support the development of new technologies including the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund and Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund. 

“The Infrastructure Finance Review, launched at the Spring Statement, explores future challenges in infrastructure finance, including new technologies, and seeks views on the government’s existing tools. The review will conclude alongside the National Infrastructure Strategy at the Spending Review later this year.”

Meanwhile over 80 MPs, including McKinnell, have signed a letter to Hammond calling for commitment to a GBP120bn infrastructure investment in in the North of England. The letter from the Northern Powerhouse All-Party Parliamentary Group calls for the commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail, and HS2 to be part of a wider package of infrastructure to rebalance the economy and narrow the North-South divide.