With barely a week to go before the crucial vote of British lawmakers to decide the U.K’s Brexit from the European bloc, Prime Minister Theresa May has come under fire for the 1.6 billion pound ($2.1billion) fund that promises economic boost for pro-Brexit communities.

The “Stronger Towns Fund” program has been dubbed by many as the PM’s bribe to secure the support of opposition Labour MPs.

Most of them represent the neglected northern England regions that were pro-Brexit in the referendum.

A section of the Labour Party hit out at the PM’s announcement and said it was an explicit effort to woo lawmakers to support the government’s Brexit plan and win their vote of approval.

PM May calls it a development initiative

However, the government justified the fund as an initiative to create new jobs, train people and boost economic activity.

“Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change; that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control,” PM May's statement said.

The opposition Labour Party’s spokesman, John McDonnell called the fund “Brexit bribery”.

“This towns fund smacks of desperation from a government reduced to bribing Members of Parliament to vote for their damaging flagship Brexit legislation,” he said.

Britain is planning to leave the EU bloc by the end of March. But PM May’s exit deal with Brussels was rejected by lawmakers in January. She has promised to present a revised deal on March 12 that will be put to vote again.

According to May, from the 1 billion pounds already allocated half would go to the north England region and support towns such as Wakefield, Wigan, and Doncaster which voted for Brexit.

Again 322 million pounds will grace Midlands towns such as Mansfield, Stoke-on-Trent, and Wolverhampton.

An additional 600 million pounds will be open for communities on a national basis on a bidding basis, the government said.

Referring to the funds, Wigan MP Nandy said towns such as hers had been “shamefully ignored for decades” and hoped the new fund marks a new approach.

Conservative MP flays May’s fund offer

A conservative Brexiter MPs also expressed surprise at the special funding plan for communities and said it would not get any pro-government vote.

Simon Clarke, the Conservative MP who voted against May’s deal in January said “this money won’t buy any votes in parliament. I am determined to deliver a proper Brexit, which means fixing the backstop”.

He also alleged that most Labour MPs are in a denial mode on the need to leave the EU.