Archie Norman, shadow secretary of state for environment, transport and the regions, remarked:
'It is clear that the government were so keen to save face that they failed to confront the real issue that this is an absurd ruling and should have been opposed on principle. This should be nothing to do with the single market or the European Union. Gap funding is simply a practical cost-effective British approach to the British urban problem.
'This government are spending less on urban regeneration than the last
brownfield development in our inner cities and now the EU has blocked a good common sense approach to encouraging redevelopment.'