LORDS

UK infrastructure bank may be needed after Brexit

23 January 2020

The EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee has today published a follow-up letter to its report on 'Brexit: the European Investment Bank'. This letter restates some of the key conclusions and recommendations contained in the report, calling on the Government to negotiate a future relationship with the European Investment Bank and to consider establishing a UK infrastructure bank after Brexit.

Given the important role that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has played in supporting UK infrastructure investment, the Committee says that the UK should negotiate a future relationship with the EIB.

The Government should also consider establishing a UK infrastructure bank to replace some of the EIB’s activities. Creating such an institution, which was also recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission, could help avoid a funding gap for UK infrastructure after Brexit.

Chair's comments

Commenting on the letter, Lord Sharkey, Chair of the House of Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee, said:

"The European Investment Bank has played a key role in supporting UK infrastructure for decades, including vital projects such as Crossrail, the expansion of Manchester’s tram network and Scotland’s Beatrice offshore windfarm. It is essential that the Government negotiates a future relationship with the European Investment Bank after Brexit.

"The Government should also give serious consideration to establishing a UK infrastructure bank, which could play a key role in supporting investment in UK infrastructure. The Government should address this in its upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy."

Key findings

Some of the key findings from the report were:

  • The European Investment Bank has lent around £100 billion to UK infrastructure projects since 1973 and has helped to 'crowd in' additional investment from the private sector.
  • The Government should explore options for a deep bilateral relationship with the European Investment Bank as part of the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.
  • Serious consideration should be given to the creation of a UK infrastructure bank. This could fill the gap left by losing access to the European Investment Bank and support the financing of key UK infrastructure after Brexit.

Further information

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