A "Brexit nightmare" is looming for Scotland if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal on the future relationship, the Scottish Government has warned.
Scotland's Brexit Secretary Michael Russell said advice issued by the UK Government today on the prospect of a no deal scenario lays bare the risks facing businesses, services and the economy north of the border.
UK Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab today issued technical guidance on how to prepare for such a scenario today, but insisted that he hopes an agreement on trade and customs can still be reached. The UK exit the EU on 29 March next year.
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The notices provide details of significant new regulatory processes for EU imports and exports, including for food, medicines and medical supplies and organs for transplant.
The notices also show the UK Government’s ‘no deal’ preparations rely on being able to negotiate bilateral deals, for example to allow continued access to European markets for UK financial services providers and to the Horizon 2020, Erasmus and nuclear research programmes.
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Mr Russell said: "These technical notices reveal the ‘no deal’ Brexit nightmare facing Scotland and lay bare the risks facing Scottish businesses, the economy and public services.
“From the bureaucratic burden that will be imposed on EU imports and exports to the need to strike a wide range of ‘no deal’ deals before the end of March, these notices only add to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. People want to know if their medication will still be available and farmers and fishermen want to know if they will still be able to sell their products.
“While a responsible government must prepare for all exit possibilities, the UK Government should rule out a disastrous ‘no deal’ and focus instead on securing the best outcome for us all – which, short of staying in the EU, is remaining part of the Single Market and Customs Union.”