In recent years the Ceredigion economy has been directly benefitting by an average of £57.6 million a year from our European Union membership, according to Ceredigion Council officers and based on figures from the Centre for European Reform.
£44 million of this is CAP payments to farmers and the rest is structural funds and research grants to our universities. The figures equate to £768 per person in the county per year. The more indirect benefits, like trade and hosting EU students are not included in these figures
Ceredigion is unusual in that our economy is much more dependent than most on a combination of agriculture and higher education, two sectors that receive considerable money from Europe. In addition we receive structural funds due to our status within the EU as a ‘less developed region’. This combination makes us particularly vulnerable if our present EU funding is not directly replaced to the same level when (if?) Brexit happens.
With the nature and economic conditions of any future Brexit in a state of extreme uncertainty at the moment, the idea of the Westminster government being in a position to simply replace all of this money - even if it wanted to - seems highly optimistic. Even if they agreed to replace three quarters of it, that would still amount to a loss of over £14 million a year to the Ceredigion economy.