Brexit: Holyrood must do more to sell "brand Scotland"

Consumer groups have spoken out against 'punitive' overdraft charges.  Picture:  Ian Georgeson
Consumer groups have spoken out against 'punitive' overdraft charges. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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The SNP Government must give better support to Scottish firms in ‘selling brand Scotland’ globally in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, a Holyrood committee has warned

Ministers are being urged to come up with a strategy to deal with the impact of the falling pound after Brexit which is pushing up the cost of imports.

Gordon Lindhurst says Government must "redouble efforts"

Gordon Lindhurst says Government must "redouble efforts"

Fears that Scots firms could be hit by the loss of EU workers with tough news immigration rules after EU departure , as well as the impact of potential trade tariffs in selling to Europe are among other concerns set out in a report by Holyrood's economy committee today.

The warning comes as Scotland's economy continues to struggle with growth at just a third of the rate of wider UK GDP. Unemployment is also rising in Scotland while falling elsewhere in the UK.

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Committee convenor Gordon Lindhurst said: "The Committee is calling on the Scottish Government to re-double its efforts in encouraging and supporting businesses to export.”

“The need to support SMEs is more crucial than ever. The Committee cannot over-state the importance of continuing to promote the growth of indigenous businesses, and it is vital that the right balance is struck between supporting foreign direct investment and home grown businesses.”

The Tory MSP added: "Crucially, the valuable knowledge, experience and expertise of Scotland’s businesses should be central to any renewed policy. Scotland has always been an outward looking country that has much to give the rest of the world. The Committee is urging the Scottish Government and Enterprise Agencies to engage with businesses based in Scotland to understand what specific support is needed from sector to sector and region to region.”

Scotland now must look to "maximise" opportunities in growing markets like China and India, the report today finds.

But the report also finds that Scotland exports more to the rest of the UK than to the rest of the world and calls for the Scottish Government to continue to support firms north of the border in trading with the rest of the UK.