Brexit will exclude United Kingdom from 2023 European Capital of Culture bidding

UK 'disappointed' at Capital of Culture snub

Dundee's 80-page bid document included 110 new projects across the city and it was due to make a final presentation next week.

"As is usual with cultural programmes and competitions, the United Kingdom government bears no responsibility for the financial investment made by the cities and councils", the department said.

John Procter, culture spokesman for the Tories in the European Parliament, said: "Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent and organisations have come together in cities like Leeds to prepare very strong bids".

DUP MEP Diane Dodds described the decision as "needless and spiteful posturing by the Commission".

She added: "In Leeds we believe in a future where our culture in all its forms is valued and experienced by the broadest set of people, and for it to be central to the city's identity and to its future - both economically and socially".

The blow comes days after Paris and Amsterdam were named as the host cities of two major London-based European Union agencies, in what the commission said was the "first visible result" of the June 2016 Brexit vote.

PM Theresa May in "urgent discussions" over the matter.

The European Capital of Culture rotates around European countries and the United Kingdom was due to play host in 2023.

The only two previous British cities were Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008.

UK 'disappointed' at Capital of Culture snub

A European Commission ban on United Kingdom cities being named the cultural capital of Europe has been branded "spiteful" by UUP MEP Jim Nicholson.

But the European Commission, which runs the scheme, said in a letter to the British Government UK access would be "discontinued" following Brexit.

Paul Russ, chairman of the Nottingham 2023 bid, said: "The bid team will be liaising with the DCMS over the coming days and we hope the situation can be resolved positively so that we and the other bidding cities can present next week as planned".

The city will not be considered for the award after the European Commission said it "would not be possible". We are deeply disappointed, but are committed to ensuring that the time, energy, enthusiasm, ideas and resources put into our bid are carried forward regardless.

"Some cities have already spent up to £500,000 on their bid submissions".

But at the 11th hour, the European Union has seemingly decided we don't qualify because of our Brexit plans.

One source said "all the necessary arrangements for the launch of the competition were made with the full knowledge of the EU Commission" and "at no stage, before this letter" was the DCMS given a "clear statement that we could not participate".

"We disagree with the European commission's decision and are particularly disappointed we have been informed of their new position after United Kingdom cities have submitted their final bids", a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said.

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