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Brexit (Economic Impact)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 6th March 2019.

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Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

7. To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the potential impact on the economy of a no-deal Brexit. (S5O-02945)

Photo of Ivan McKee Ivan McKee Scottish National Party

On 21 February this year, the Scottish Government’s chief economist published an analysis setting out the immediate economic implications of a no-deal Brexit for the Scottish economy. The analysis indicated that there is potential for the economy to contract by between 2.5 per cent and 7 per cent by the end of 2019 and for it to be pushed into recession, depending on the way in which a no-deal Brexit evolves. Previous analysis published in “Scotland’s place in Europe: people, jobs and investment” outlined the long-term implications of Brexit for Scotland’s economy.

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

Is the cabinet secretary aware of the concerns of fish processors in my constituency, who are worried that they will be unable to obtain the necessary export health certificates in a timely fashion to allow them to get their fresh fish products to markets in Europe and elsewhere?

Photo of Ivan McKee Ivan McKee Scottish National Party

The impact of a no-deal Brexit will have catastrophic consequences for the seafood sector in Scotland. Our seafood sector will be severely impacted by disruption at the port of Dover, which will jeopardise the just-in-time nature of the seafood supply chain

. The sector will also be required to comply with a range of administrative burdens, including the requirement for export health certificates for all seafood consignments that are exported to the European Union. We anticipate at least a fourfold increase in the requirement for export health certificates, with a potential additional cost to the industry of more than £15 million per year. The Scottish Government continues to press the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on our proposals for controlling imports to and exports from the UK.

Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Liberal Democrat

I agree with the minister’s remarks about a no-deal Brexit. Has he conducted any research to compare the negative economic impacts of a no-deal Brexit scenario with those of a no-deal independence scenario?

Photo of Ivan McKee Ivan McKee Scottish National Party

If Willie Rennie had read the growth commission’s report, he would be aware of the potential of an independent Scotland standing alongside other small to medium-sized nations across Europe, which would lead to significant increases in the growth rate in Scotland’s economy. If we look at how those nations have grown in the past decade compared to Scotland, we see that the difference is not in the amount of resources that those other countries have, as we have more resources, and it is not in the people whom they have, as we have better trained and skilled individuals. The only difference is that those countries can pursue their own economic policies because they are independent.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Question 4 was not lodged.