Patricia Gibson MP has accused the UK Government of taking a ‘Kamikaze’ approach to the economy by refusing either to ask for an extension to the Brexit transition period or accept one if it is offered.
Mrs Gibson has urged the UK Government to pursue the maximum two-year extension to the Brexit transition period as it is crucial if we are to avoid further damage to jobs, wellbeing and the economy. She said:
“Despite the impact of the COVID-19 emergency, the UK Government is still hell bent on pursuing a hard Brexit. Instead it should ask the EU today for the maximum two-year extension to the transition period.
“An extended transition will retain the UK/EU trading links and provide an opportunity to re-think the future relationship. However, the UK Government is pressing ahead without properly involving the SNP Government, or taking account of its views.
“The Scottish economy cannot afford the ‘Kamikaze’ policy of sacrificing an economy that by December will still be trying to recover from the impact of COVID-19. The growing likelihood of a ‘no deal’ or hard Brexit deal, less than nine months from now will be the straw that breaks the back of many businesses that may only just survive the current health crisis. UK Ministers must think again.”
The UK and EU are in a transitional period during which the UK is aligned with EU rules.
This will last until 31 December 2020. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement the period may be extended by mutual agreement, by up to two years, if the UK requests an extension before 30 June this year.