Monday, 01 October 2018 13:23


The SNP’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson has said that Scotland should not have to pay the price for the recklessness of a Tory government intent on inflicting economic and social harm on the country with its continued threat of walking away with a no-deal Brexit scenario.

The Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab today told the Conservative party conference that any attempts to keep the UK in the EEA (European Economic Area) or customs union – a position backed by many businesses seeking economic stability – would result in the Tory government leaving the EU without a deal.

SNP MP Stephen Gethins added that unless the Tories changed course, and heeded their own dire economic Brexit evidence, then concerns raised by businesses could very quickly transform into action and plans to leave the UK – putting at risk thousands of jobs, harming the economy, and impacting on the living standards of families across Scotland and the UK.

Stephen Gethins MP said:

“It is utterly staggering that the Brexit Secretary in one sentence stated that the UK is at its best ‘when we work together,’ and in the next dismissed genuine compromise positions raised by the devolved administrations and businesses across the UK, and instead boasted about walking away from the EU without a deal.

“Scotland should not have to pay the price for a reckless Tory government that is intent on inflicting economic and social harm on us all through its ideological drive towards a hard Brexit.

“This is too big for the Tories and DUP to carve up on their own. With only a matter of months left before the UK exits the EU, it’s about time the UK government demonstrated a genuine cross-party, cross-government approach to its negotiations with the EU.

“The Scottish Government has repeatedly set out a compromise position to stay within the single market and customs union – which is around eight times bigger than the UK market alone. That is vital in protecting the interests of small and large businesses, and safeguarding the economy, but it is a common sense position.

“The UK government’s own analysis reveals that a hard Brexit would cost the Scottish economy between 2% and 9% of GDP, putting up to 80,000 jobs on the line, and costing Scotland up to £12.7billion a year – the equivalent of £2,300 lost for every person in the country. Rather than side-lining parliament and the devolved administrations, Theresa May and her Brexit Secretary must engage with them before it is too late.

"The grim reality is that unless the Tories urgently change course, then some small and large businesses increasingly face being left with no choice but to make plans to protect their interests, including shifting their base from the UK to the EU - putting at risk thousands of jobs and the living standards of families across the country."

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