UK govt commits 300 mln on 'peace' projects in N Ireland after Brexit
LONDON – Agence France-Presse
A view of a sculpture by London based Italian artist Matt Marga "One Million Queen" which depicts a profile of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in London on Dec. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Britain on Jan. 11 announced hundreds of millions of pounds in funding "to support peace in Northern Ireland" after Brexit, continuing for another seven years a shared initiative with Ireland and the EU.
The British government said it will commit around 300 million pound sterling ($383 million, 333 million euros) to the "Peace Plus" plan, which will run from 2021 until 2027.
The scheme started in 1995 to promote economic and social progress in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland and ends in 2020.
"This funding will help deliver vital projects on both sides of the Irish border, supporting cooperation and reconciliation and ensuring that generations to come grown up in a more peaceful and stable society," said Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley.
The next stage of the scheme will continue various projects, including a 14.5 million bridge across the River Foyle in Derry, a city in the northwest of the province close to the Irish border with a fraught history of sectarian division and violence.
The EU has set out its plan for 109 million of funding - subject to final budget approval - for the "Peace Plus" plan, according to Bradley's office.
It said the funds stem from joint commitments with the EU contained in the contentious withdrawal agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May and the bloc.
British MPs are set to vote on her draft divorce deal next week but are widely expected to reject it amid fierce opposition - in particular over future guarantees over the Irish border.