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In the Scottish Government consultation paper that was published in the spring, we made it clear that we were considering appropriate interim governance measures should the United Kingdom Government take us out of the European Union without a withdrawal agreement. The Scottish Government is totally opposed to a no-deal outcome because of the severe damage that it will cause. We will, however, do all that we can to protect the natural environment in that eventuality.
A no-deal Brexit would leave our environment at risk in many areas, not least at risk of potential unscrupulous actors. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has committed to interim governance arrangements in a no-deal scenario. Although I strongly believe that there should not be a no deal and I will campaign on a public vote for remain, in this instance will the cabinet secretary confirm that the Scottish Government will publish its interim and long-term proposals for environmental governance quickly if we have the dreadful no deal?
The Scottish Government will make an announcement on interim governance arrangements if and when a no-deal exit appears inevitable. The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform will shortly write to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, of which Claudia Beamish is a valued member, to update the committee on the issue.