Ashworth: Tragic floods merit EU solidarity cash

Richard Ashworth Conservative MEP for south east England, supports calls for the UK government to make an application for aid from Europe’s Solidarity Fund to help alleviate the suffering caused by storms and floods .
Richard Ashworth, Conservative MEP for the South East and budget spokesman for his group in the European Parliament, said: “In my book, this is exactly the kind of distress that the fund was set up to provide assistance for.

“What is happening across the south of England and Wales is nothing short of a tragedy. People are suffering and that suffering is protracted – the EU needs to respond to any request for assistance positively and as comprehensively as possible.

The UK Government is reported to be assessing whether or not to submit an application to the European Commission for relief aid under the Solidarity Fund. Past recipients have included Germany for floods last year, Italy after the Abruzzo earthquake in 2009 and France after storm Klaus the same year.

Mr Ashworth said: “I would encourage the Government to seek the money, which I think should be given a positive consideration by the Commission . It is no more that Britain deserves.

“We have always been content to do our bit in the past when other countries have suffered appalling devastation and hardship. Now that it is our turn to feel the pain, we should be treated no less favourably.

“When we are in need, it is only right that Europe should return some of our own money to the UK to provide relief.”