Windsor Framework

– in the Scottish Parliament on 23 March 2023.

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Photo of Clare Adamson Clare Adamson Scottish National Party

2. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what its initial assessment is of the potential impact of the Windsor framework on Scotland’s economy. (S6O-02054)

Photo of Ivan McKee Ivan McKee Scottish National Party

We welcome the Windsor framework, which offers an opportunity for the United Kingdom to reset its relationship with the European Union. However, the Prime Minister, by setting out his view that the framework puts Northern Ireland in an “unbelievably special position”, has accepted that Scotland is now at a major competitive disadvantage, and has made crystal clear the immense damage that the UK Government’s hard Brexit deal is causing to Scotland.

Despite voting overwhelmingly to remain, Scotland has been forced out of the EU, the single market and the customs union, and we have lost freedom-of-movement rights, which were so important to the Scottish economy.

Last week, the Office for Budget Responsibility confirmed that as a result of Brexit, long-run UK productivity will fall by 4 per cent, which is equivalent to a loss in annual national income of around £100 billion in comparison with continued EU membership.

Given that that hard Brexit is supported by not only the UK Government but the Labour Party, it is clearer than ever that it is only by becoming an independent country that Scotland can regain the huge economic benefits of EU membership.

Photo of Clare Adamson Clare Adamson Scottish National Party

I thank the minister for his answer, and I concur with his concerns over the Office for Budget Responsibility’s report. Can he give any comfort right now to Scottish businesses, which continue to suffer as a result of a damaging Tory hard Brexit? What comfort can he give them as they look across to Northern Ireland and see the advantages that Northern Ireland will have over Scottish businesses, given its access to the single market?

Photo of Ivan McKee Ivan McKee Scottish National Party

As I said in my earlier answer, we recognise the damage that that can do to the prospects of Scottish business. Of course, the Scottish Government continues to work with businesses in Scotland to support them as best we can, given the damage that the UK Government is doing through those steps.

The people in Scotland have given a clear mandate for a referendum on Scotland’s future. [



The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, members.

Photo of Ivan McKee Ivan McKee Scottish National Party

Scotland has huge economic potential, but the UK economy, particularly post-Brexit, is now lagging behind many EU and international comparators. Should the people of Scotland, when given a choice, vote for independence, Scotland would get the full range of powers and the ability to rejoin the EU and build a country that is wealthier, more successful and fairer than the UK.