MPs are set to debate the implications of Brexit for Scotland this morning. North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson has organised the session in Westminster Hall to raise fears about the impact of leaving the single market and customs union, in front of a government minister.
Gibson will say that “Scotland will not forgive or forget” political parties that put their hard Brexit obsessions over the national interest.
She will say: “Tory and Labour plans for a hard Brexit would be catastrophic for Scotland – leaving the whole country worse off.
“If the UK Government drags Scotland out of the single market and customs union, it will destroy thousands of Scottish jobs and damage the incomes, livelihoods and living standards of millions of people for decades to come.
“With time running out for the UK to strike a deal with the EU, and the Tories and Labour both at war with themselves, it is vital that common sense prevails before it is too late.
“The UK Government must listen to the overwhelming evidence. Short of staying in the EU, as Scotland voted for, remaining in the single market and customs union is the least damaging option – and the only way to protect jobs and prosperity. Scotland will not forgive or forget those parties that put their hard Brexit obsessions over the national interest.”
Last month, the Fraser of Allander Institute said Brexit remained the greatest risk to Scotland’s economic recovery. Professor Graeme Roy, institute director, said: “With just nine months to go until the UK leaves the EU, the lack of a coherent plan from within Whitehall about the UK’s long-term economic relationship with our most important trading partner risks holding back Scotland’s recovery.
“Irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with the decision to leave the EU, the uncertainty caused by this lack of clarity is making it extremely difficult for businesses to develop contingencies or plan for the future.
“Two years on from the referendum outcome, simply kicking the can down the road is no longer a credible economic strategy for Government to adopt.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster will hear today from the Keep Scotland The Brand campaign, as MPs take more evidence for their inquiry into Brexit and trade.
The session is set to examine the importance of the Scottish brand to the export market and will invest- igate what role geographic protections have played in boosting exports and protecting them against cheaper, low-quality rivals.
Ruth Watson from the campaign has said she is fearful about what a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States would mean for Scottish produce.
In written evidence to the committee, she said her research had shown that the Americans “do not expect their food to come up to our high standards but for our food to be indistinguishable from theirs. They expect for us to lower our standards and not discern between their quality of food and Scottish-grown goods”.
Others to speak at the committee hearing include representatives from the Law Society of Scotland, the Scottish Chamber of Commerce and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.
Story from: The National