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2nd Day

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:41 pm on 11th September 2017.

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Photo of Hannah Bardell Hannah Bardell Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Trade and Investment) 8:41 pm, 11th September 2017

I will not at the moment. I am going to make some progress.

To put it simply, planes will not be able to take off, as my hon. Friend Dr Whitford identified.

There is concern that the UK Government might use clause 8 to trigger article 127 of the European economic area agreement, immediately ripping away the UK’s access to the free movement of goods, people, services and capital. As the days pass, the fear and concern heighten. Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, said this morning—she was adding to the list of Brexit superlatives—that the Conservative Government were headed towards a “kamikaze Brexit”.

In a single act of complete recklessness, the Government are pressing ahead with this deficient Bill without carrying out a proper economic analysis of any economy across the UK. The people in businesses I have spoken to do not want to fall off a cliff before new trade deals can be agreed. They cannot afford to crash out of the EU or to fall back on WTO rules, which the CBI president said would open a “Pandora’s box”.

The gap between any transitional period and the start of any trade deal is also a real threat. Agriculture, fisheries and the environment are just some of the areas devolved to Scotland that will be affected by the Bill. The Fraser of Allander Institute has shown that a hard Brexit could cost Scotland’s economy and its GDP up to £10 billion and 80,000 jobs. That is almost the entire number of people in my constituency. The Scottish Government did try to work for a compromise, presenting their proposals in “Scotland’s Place in Europe”, but they did not even receive a decent response.