Brexit: No-deal with the EU 'disastrous for Scotland' claims Mike Russell
Mike Russell, said it was "beyond belief” that with trade talks continuing this week, that Scottish firms had been left with "no idea what their trading arrangements will be with the EU in less than three months’ time.”
He added: “A ‘no-deal’ would be disastrous for Scotland. But because of the limited ambitions of the UK Government, any agreement that is struck puts Scotland, its people and its economy, in a substantially worse position than where we are now.”
Mr Russell said that a failure to strike a trade deal with the EU could see "crippling” tariffs placed on goods.
"Beef and lamb exports to the EU, worth £76 million in 2018/2019, would be rendered almost unviable with much of exports set to face tariffs in the region of 50% to 70%,” he said.
“Other sectors such as refined petroleum, leather goods and textiles would face tariffs ranging from around 5% to 12%.
“Even if the UK secures the kind of limited deal it is seeking, Scottish GDP will be 6.1% lower, that is around £9 billion, by 2030, compared to a Scotland that enjoys continued EU membership.”
The Prime Minister today said he believed the terms being offered to the EU by the UK government were a “good deal”, but that if there was no agreement, and trade revered to World Trade Organisation terms, the UK economy “could live with it”.
“I hope that they'll agree to the deal that we've set out because it's a very good deal for the EU. All we're asking our friends and partners to offer is terms that they've already offered to Canada which is you know a long way away from here,” he said. “I don't want the Australian-WTO type outcome, particularly, but we can more than live with it.”
He also said he believed Brexit would be good for Scotland, in particular its fishing industry.
However Mr Russell said: “If this limited deal is struck, our exporters will face significant new barriers. Products will have to be checked as they enter the EU, jeopardising just-in-time supply chains for exports such as seafood, worth £780 million in 2019.
“There will be extra paperwork - it has been estimated by the seafood industry that just the export health certificates for seafood alone will cost between £7 million and £15 million a year.
“Both a no deal or a ‘low deal’ outcome will force the people of Scotland into a position for which they did not vote: out of the Single Market, out of the Customs Union and with the end of freedom of movement – hitting jobs, lives and living standards hard.”
He said the Scottish Government would attempt to “mitigate against the consequences” but that it “cannot avert every negative outcome”, and reiterated his belief the best outcome for Scotland was to be an “independent country.”
A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.