Scottish Brexit impact study predicts serious economic consequences

scottish brexit impact study
© iStock/Alena Kravchenko

A new study by the Scottish government has highlighted the destructive impact Brexit will have on Scotland’s economy.

The report, titled ‘Scotland’s place in Europe: assessment of the revised EU withdrawal agreement and political declaration’, estimates that by 2030 Scotland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be 6.1% lower outside the EU than the forecasted GDP under continued membership of the bloc. The impact of Brexit, the study says, would be particularly damaging to the Scottish digital, service and food and drinks sectors; all of which play a significant role in the country’s economy.

Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell said: “The paper we have published today sets out the impact of this disastrous deal on Scotland. It removes any pretence that the UK intends to seek a future relationship with the EU beyond a limited free trade agreement. The Fraser of Allander Institute estimates that Scotland’s economy is already around two per cent smaller – £3bn [€3.49bn] – than it would have been without the vote to leave the EU and, let’s be clear, this exit deal does not in any way ‘get Brexit done’. It would merely unleash fresh, ever more complex and ever more acrimonious disputes on the population. The likelihood is that it merely postpones a ‘no deal’ crash out for little over a year.”

In addition to the deleterious impact on Scottish trade and industry of the delays to trade projected to arise after Brexit, the report notes that the retention of Northern Ireland as a continued member of the European Single Market proposed in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement would leave Scotland at a comparative disadvantage. The study also cautions that Johnson’s proposals for the governance of the UK outside the EU makes no provision to address the projected decline in Scotland’s working age population which is likely to occur as a result of the ending of freedom of movement for EU citizens coming to the UK.

Secretary Russell added: “The UK Government has repeatedly failed to live up to its promises to fully involve the devolved administrations in the Brexit negotiations. The result is a bad deal which will damage Scotland’s interests and ignores our democratic will. The people of Scotland have the right to determine their own future free from Brexit as an independent member of the European Union.”

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