Brexit (Impact on Scotland)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 September 2022.

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Photo of Marie McNair Marie McNair Scottish National Party

3. To ask the Scottish Government how it continues to assess the impact of Brexit on Scotland. (S6O-01334)

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

As the Scottish Government has repeatedly warned, Brexit has been hugely damaging to households, communities and businesses across Scotland. Due to the hard Brexit chosen by the United Kingdom Government, Scotland’s total trade with the European Union was 16 per cent lower in 2021 than it was in 2019, while Scotland’s trade with non-EU countries fell by only 4 per cent over the same period.

Photo of Marie McNair Marie McNair Scottish National Party

With yet another Brexit-obsessed Conservative in Downing Street and the cost of living crisis escalating, will the cabinet secretary reiterate the need for the people of Scotland to have the opportunity to decide their own constitutional future to make up for the worsening democratic deficit, which has seen Scottish concerns utterly ignored under the Tories at Westminster?

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

I agree with my colleague on the democracy point and, to remain with the economic challenge, Brexit has, of course, had visible impacts. For example, analysis in April by researchers at the centre for economic performance at the London School of Economics showed that post-Brexit trade barriers had led to a 6 per cent increase in food prices in the UK.

We, in the Scottish Government, continue to engage with stakeholders to understand the impacts that they are experiencing, and we will continue to carefully study further economic indicators as they are released.

Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Liberal Democrat

I am glad that the cabinet secretary is monitoring the impacts of Brexit. He and I share the view that Brexit is incredibly damaging, but he also knows that I feel obligated, every time that that question is asked, to point out the parallels between Brexit and independence. In his quieter and more reflective moments, does he, too, recognise those parallels?

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

The short answer is no, there is no parallel. The Scottish Government’s plans are for Scotland to reapply and to become part of the European Union again. That is totally diametrically opposed to the Brexit priorities of the UK Government.