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European Union Withdrawal Preparations (Barnett Consequentials)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

3. To ask the Scottish Government how much of the £55 million it received in Barnett consequentials for 2019-20 to prepare for leaving the EU has been allocated and to what. (S5O-02991)

Photo of Graeme Dey Graeme Dey Scottish National Party

The £55 million has been distributed in its entirety across portfolios. Particular consideration has been given to the areas that will be heavily affected by Brexit: the economy, transport, food and drink, medicines, agriculture and the rural economy. Those portfolios are responsible for managing their preparations within their total budgets.

Photo of Jackie Baillie Jackie Baillie Labour

I am pleased to hear the minister’s response. He will be aware that last year’s budget included £37 million to address the effects of Brexit, but I understand that only £27 million of that money was spent and that none of it went to Police Scotland, which was not mentioned in the list that he gave.

The minister will be aware that Police Scotland is reporting that there will be a significant risk if additional funding is not secured to recruit new officers to deal with the consequences of Brexit.

The £55 million was allocated on the basis of civil contingencies in the event of a no-deal scenario. Is the money contingent on there being no deal or can we keep it anyway, which would be helpful? Will the minister consider urgently making an allocation from that amount to Police Scotland?

Photo of Graeme Dey Graeme Dey Scottish National Party

I will try to cover that as best I can. Of the £37 million, £27 million was allocated to specific Brexit-related activity in the Scottish Government and its agencies, and the remaining £10 million was spent by portfolios as part of the overall budget settlement. All portfolio areas have benefited from all the EU consequentials that have been allocated via the budget, but none of the Scottish Government’s 2018-19 and 2019-20 EU consequentials arose from increased United Kingdom Government spending on policing. Of course, as with all public bodies, dialogue continues with Police Scotland.