Welsh Ukip politician wants Republic to pay for motorway with EU funds

Ukip politician David Rowlands suggested the Dublin government could pay for the motorway using EU funds 

A Ukip politician has asked if the Republic couls use EU funds to pay for a motorway in Wales.

David Rowlands, one of seven UKip MPs in the Welsh National Assembly, asked the Welsh first minister to "explore the possibility" of the M4 improvement scheme being paid for by the Dublin government.

The motorway is the main artery between Wales' main cities and the rest of the UK with a large amount of Irish exported goods being carried along the route.

Mr Rowlands said Irish exporters rely on the M4 to transport good to other EU countries and told that it is "quite a reasonable idea to explore".

Addressing First Minister Carwyn Jones, he said "Will the First Minister explore the possibility of part of the costs for the M4 improvement scheme being borne by the Irish government, given that three quarters of all Irish exports to the EU and the UK pass along that road?"

The first minister replied: "No, it’s for the Welsh government to maintain the trunk roads and motorways of Wales."

He also said Mr Rowlands could not expect an EU member state "to make up the shortfall that he himself campaigned to engineer in the first place".

Mr Rowlands was met with jeers and heckles as he pointed out "three quarters of all Irish exports to the EU and UK pass along that road".

He said the Republic would be able to access money from the Trans-European highways fund to pay for the £1.1bn six-lane motorway south of Newport.

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