8. To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether Brexit will disproportionately impact on people living in areas of multiple deprivation. (S5O-03734)
The risks presented by Brexit are anticipated to have significant social and economic consequences for all areas of Scotland, but we know that higher levels of deprivation make communities less resilient to large-scale socioeconomic shocks that are likely to lead to job losses or reduced incomes. After many years of austerity driven by the United Kingdom Government, deprived areas are already suffering, and they will do so even more under Brexit.
More than three in 10 people in my Glasgow Anniesland constituency live in what would be the first, second and third areas in Scotland worst affected by Brexit. Does the cabinet secretary agree that we need to do everything in our power to stop Brexit disadvantaging the most vulnerable and those who are living in deprivation?
The Scottish Government already invested last year £1.4 billion in supporting low-income households. We have also committed to initial emergency food provision for vulnerable communities, and our document, “Scottish Government Overview of ‘No Deal’ Preparations” outlines our commitment to a rapid poverty mitigation fund.
However, we cannot fully mitigate Brexit, and we cannot anticipate and prepare for every outcome. There is no such thing as a good Brexit, which is why it must be stopped, and people will have the opportunity to do just that in December.