Sales from Scotland to the rest of the UK are now worth nearly £50 billion, an increase of over 70% since 2002 and four times the value of exports from Scotland to the EU. There is no doubt that the United Kingdom is the vital Union for Scotland.
The International Monetary Fund predicted dire consequences for the UK economy if we voted Brexit, yet it upgraded our growth yesterday, for the second time in three months, to 2%. Much of the confidence about the growth in the UK economy is deserved under the leadership of our Prime Minister. Does my right hon. Friend agree that when people look to buy British, as a quality marque “made in Scotland” is very important?
Obviously, they will not, because, as my hon. Friend will know, in 2015 Scotland exported £49.8 billion to the rest of the UK, four times more than exports to the EU and three times greater than sales to the rest of the world.
The benefits to Scotland of full access to the UK market are clear. Does my right hon. Friend agree that Scottish representation in this Parliament must focus on what benefits the whole of the UK single market?
Seventy-five per cent. of Canada’s exports go to the US, whereas only 63% of Scotland’s exports go to the rest of the UK. Canada is a successful, independent country. Does the Secretary of State agree that neighbouring countries can have close trading relations while still maintaining their sovereignty?
Of course countries can have close trading relationships, but Scotland benefits from being part of the United Kingdom because there are no barriers to trade, and there is freedom of movement between Scotland and the rest of the UK. That is good for Scottish business and the hon. Lady should support it.
The value of Scottish exports of food and drink has doubled in the past 10 years, to £5.5 billion in 2016. This week, the chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, James Withers, said that he was afraid that the consequences of leaving the European Union without a trade deal would result in tariffs. Can the Secretary of State guarantee that the Scottish food and drink sector will not have to deal with such a situation?
Does the Secretary of State stand by his comments last year, when he said:
“My role is to ensure Scotland gets the best possible deal and that deal involves clearly being part of the single market”?
Will he be honest with his constituents in a few weeks’ time? Will they be voting for an MP who supports being in the single market, or for one who wants to go along with a damaging hard Brexit, whatever the cost to families and businesses in his constituency?