Brexit effect is bad, but we need to be clear about how bad – Scotsman comment

Brexit and Covid have undoubtedly caused serious damage to the UK economy.

Nicola Sturgeon said it was 'utterly reckless of the Conservatives to plough ahead with Brexit in the middle of a global pandemic' (Picture: Fraser Bremner/pool/Getty Images)

But with the pandemic hitting just three months after the end of the Brexit transition period, it not only knocked our departure from the European Union off the top of the news agenda but also blurred what otherwise would have been a relatively clear picture of cause and effect.

Awkward questions that Brexiteers would likely have struggled to answer are, in many cases, simply not being asked. This has, to a degree, let them off the hook.

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However, it is a mistake for Remain supporters to seek to put them back on it by trying to make the situation clearer than it actually is.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon claimed the prospect of empty shop shelves ahead of Christmas would be “entirely inflicted by their [Conservatives’] obsession with Brexit”.

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“We, right now not just in Scotland but across the UK, are in the quite incredible situation, unlike other countries across the European Union – so this is not about Covid – of seeing shortages in our supermarkets, of having shortages of other supplies, of having children told there might not be toys at Christmas because of the disruption to supply chains,” she said.

However, there are currently supply problems around the world affecting an array of goods as a result of Covid, with a surge in post-lockdown demand, worker shortages and disruption at ports playing a part.

If governments are to mitigate the effects of Brexit, they need to be clear about what they are. Muddying the waters for political advantage, by Remainers or Brexiteers, will simply make that task harder.

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