Thursday, 06 December 2018 15:39

David Mundell has ‘no credibility’ with Scottish businesses that fear the economic fallout from Brexit

David Mundell has ‘no credibility’ with Scottish businesses that fear the economic fallout from Brexit, according to a leading Scottish business group.

Business for Scotland CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp said David Mundell ‘keeps on selling a bad deal’, and urged him to listen to real businesses, not the handful of carefully selected Conservative Party supporters that have spoken out in support of the Withdrawal Bill this week.
Responding to David Mundell’s speech today, MacIntyre-Kemp said the Scottish Secretary could learn from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the united Scottish Parliament. 
“Mundell needs to listen to real businesses, not just a handful of carefully selected Conservative Party supporters, urged to support the Prime Minister in her moment of desperation. The Scottish Secretary talks about business support but even the leaked CBI internal emails demonstrated their praise for the Withdrawal Agreement was false,” said MacIntyre-Kemp.
“The FM is listening to real businesses across the country, is hearing the fears particularly of those who export, and is acting to keep Scotland in the Customs Union and Single Market to protect exports and Scottish jobs. 
“We are being fed a false choice of May’s deal or No deal - we can Brexit and still stay in the Single Market. That is now more of a possibility given the likelihood of the PM’s deal being voted down and a No Deal being utterly unacceptable.”
The legal advice published by the UK government yesterday confirmed that if the backstop is activated, Northern Ireland would effectively remain in the Single Market for goods – with the rest of the UK treated as a third country. This is clearly inconsistent with the Scottish Secretary’s previously stated resignation red lines.
“Despite saying he could not support a deal that leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the UK and saying he would resign if that was brought forward, Mundell keeps on selling a bad deal - he has no credibility left with any Scottish business that’s worried about a deeply damaging Brexit,” said MacIntyre-Kemp.
“All forms of Brexit are harder on Scotland than the rest of the UK and surely we need a Scottish Secretary that stands up for Scotland and means what he says.”
Business for Scotland’s EU survey of 758 Scottish business owners and directors revealed that only 8% of Scottish business owners trust the UK Government to secure the best Brexit deal for Scotland, and 79% want to see a second EU referendum after the terms for leaving the EU are clear.
Additionally, the respondents were asked if they believed negotiations would be more productive with direct involvement and representation of the devolved administrations – 77.98% said yes.

Link to BfS EU survey results here

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