More than 80 per cent of Scots are concerned about leaving the European Union over the next 12 months – with the rising cost of food top of the list of concerns.
The survey, published today by Citizens Advice Scotland, found that half of people north of the Border class themselves as “very concerned” about the looming prospect of Brexit – twice the number of a year ago.
Meanwhile, a further 18 per cent and 14 per cent respectively said they were “somewhat” and “a little” concerned, taking the total to 82 per cent. The equivalent figure in a similar survey in April 2018 was just 71 per cent.
The poll, carried out by YouGov for CAS last month, found that almost three-quarters of people said that the cost of food and essential items after Brexit concerned them, while 63 per cent said that they were worried about the impact that leaving the EU would have on employment. Other worries included the availability of prescription drugs and other medical supplies and the effect that Brexit would have on the health service.
The British Medical Association has previously warned of the problems Brexit could cause for an “already stretched” National Health Service, warning that leaving the bloc could impact on recruiting and retaining doctors from the EU. Fears have also been raised about how drugs imported from EU countries would be transported to the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which could hold up imported goods being brought into the country.
CAS chief executive Derek Mitchell said: “Headlines around Brexit tend to concentrate on the process and the political narrative. Our research shows people in Scotland are worried about its impact on their day to day lives.
“From the cases that Citizens Advice Bureaux see every day, we know that many people in Scotland are already struggling to make ends meet. Against that background, Brexit represents an additional insecurity.”
He added: “Personally, the thing that most surprises me is the high level of worry and concern overall. If only 14 per cent of Scots are not concerned at all about Brexit, that suggests to me a very high level of Brexit stress in the general population, significantly higher than we found this time last year.”