“DEAFENING SILENCE” FROM DAVID MUNDELL OVER LEAKED BREXIT PAPERS - SCOTTISH SECRETARY SHUNNED BY BREXIT WAR CABINET
February 12, 2018
Patricia Gibson MP, has criticised David Mundell’s “deafening silence” over the UK government’s leaked Brexit papers, warning that the Scottish Secretary has questions to answer over his knowledge of the analysis which shows that a no-deal scenario could hit Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by around 9%.
Mrs Gibson called on the Scottish Secretary to heed the “grim” analysis from his own government, and press for Scotland’s continued place in the Single Market and Customs Union.
Questions have also arisen over David Mundel MP’s conduct following evidence given to a Holyrood Committee just a matter of months ago, where Mr Mundell stated that there “is not a Scotland-specific analysis” - which has proven to be false.
It follows his pledge after the EU referendum, when Mr Mundell said he would “ensure that Scotland gets the best possible deal and that deal clearly involves being part of the Single Market”.
The UK government's leaked papers reveal that Brexit could hit Scottish growth by 9% under a no deal scenario, 6% with a free trade deal and 2.5% with continued membership of the Single Market - similar to independent analysis published earlier by the SNP Government.
Mrs Gibson said:
“It is completely unprecedented for the UK Government to deliberately pursue a policy which its own analysis warns will have catastrophic consequences for the economy.
"Mr Mundell's silence has been deafening in the face of such grim analysis, and there are questions to answer. The Scottish Secretary denied there was Scotland-specific analysis, when there was. Did he know an analysis of Brexit impact on Scotland was being, or had been, prepared? If not, why not?
"Mr Mundell is fast losing credibility and authority given he has now also been shunned from the Prime Minister’s ‘Brexit ‘war cabinet’ following his broken promise to bring forward amendments to the EU Bill.
“Just after the EU referendum, Mr Mundell pledged to protect Scotland’s interests and get the best deal for Scotland - which in his words – ‘involves being part of the Single Market’. It’s time he stood by his words, and delivered on his promise to the people of Scotland.
“The UK Tory Government can no longer get away with its policy of secrecy and side-lining. Mrs May must publish the Brexit analysis in full and seriously engage with the devolved administrations they have thus far kept in the dark. There is now no plausible Brexit scenario based on existing EU arrangements, that does not leave Scotland and the UK worse off.
“The leak simply underlines the importance of remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union to minimise the economic and social harm the UK Government is pushing us ever closer towards."
Exchange between Joan McAlpine MSP and David Mundell MP on November 2017:
David Mundell: The Government had previously indicated that such assessments and analyses had been made. The letter to which you refer set out the detail of which areas they covered. I will make one clarification in relation to some media reports that there is a Scotland-specific analysis. There is not a Scotland-specific analysis; there is analysis of how those sectors apply within Scotland.