Stewart Hosie blasted for putting EU ahead of UK trade

Stewart Hosie came under fire over claims about Scotland's trade. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Stewart Hosie came under fire over claims about Scotland's trade. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
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Opposition parties have criticised the SNP’s Westminster economy spokesman for suggesting membership of the European single market is more important to the Scottish economy than the Union.

Asked on BBC Radio Scotland yesterday why the SNP wanted to take Scotland out of its “main market”, Stewart Hosie MP replied that “most of Scotland’s exports go to countries which are currently in the European Union, as it includes England for the time being”.

In another BBC interview he said described the EU as “a market of 500 million people, not a domestic market of 70 million”.

Scottish Government figures show exports to the rest of the UK are worth £48.5 billion, compared to £11.6bn of goods exported to the EU annually.

Labour MP Ian Murray called Mr Hosie “two-faced” for saying the loss of tariff-free single market access could trigger a second independence referendum, while Conservative shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart MSP called Mr Hosie’s comments “laughable”.