Ukraine-Russia: Senior SNP MP warns fallout of Russia invasion will hit ‘every single person in the pocket’
Alyn Smith urged the UK Government to develop support packages immediately and labelled the hit to exports and energy prices a “perfect storm”.
The party’s foreign affairs spokesman also defended Nicola Sturgeon’s comments on a no-fly zone, saying nothing should be ruled out.
Speaking exclusively to The Scotsman, Mr Smith suggested the severity of the conflict’s impact on Britain was being underestimated.
He said: “You call it agriculture, nobody cares, but call it farms, call it food, land production, supply chains, climate change, these are huge issues.
“The extent to which wheat exports are going to be affected by Russia and Ukrainian lack of exports is massive for the whole of the world.
“The energy prices were already spiking before we saw any of what’s happened. The German stance on energy has utterly changed with 30 years of policy gone overnight.
"The whole of the EU has an energy gap and this is going to need to be met.
“This is going to hit every single person in their pocket, sooner rather than later."
The Stirling MP pointed to rises in inflation and called for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to think again on introducing measures of support.
He said: “This is going to have consequences for all of us and I think the UK state is going to need to do an awful lot more than we've seen to date to support people through this with energy prices and food prices.
“We need to keep the pressure on the UK Government to look at things like Universal Credit, one-off winter payments and luckily we’re moving into summer, but if this doesn't resolve itself as I feel it won't, we need to be thinking about next winter’s energy prices.
"The energy market is broken and going to need significant government intervention.”
Mr Smith also dismissed criticism of the First Minister, after Ms Sturgeon said Nato should not rule out a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland, had claimed Ms Sturgeon’s suggestion could lead to World War Three.
Defending the First Minister, Mr Smith said: “Her comments, as opposed to the spin on her comments, were very sensible and I think everything should be on the table.
“I don't think we should be at the stage ruling anything out.
“Equally I don’t see how a no-fly zone answers any of the questions being asked.
“A no-fly zone risks a huge escalation in the war, it risks engagement directly against Russian forces by Nato forces.
“Exactly as Nicola says, we should keep everything on the table as this evolves. We shouldn't be in the business of tying our own hands.
“I don't detect any appetite for any member state, not least the UK to go down the route of a no-fly zone and I'd be very sceptical myself.”
The senior SNP MP also warned the conflict could last “years”.
He said: “There's going to be an insurrection for as long as Russia tries to hold territory.
"So this is going to be a long running conflict unless there's some sort of diplomatic solution and I don't see a path to that at the moment.”
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