OVERVIEW INCLUDES STEPS TO PROTECT CRITICAL IMPORTS AND VULNERABLE CITIZENS
A report has been published detailing the range of measures being put in place by the Scottish Government to mitigate a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The overview document outlines the depth and scope of work underway, suggests what actions the UK Government should take and sets out the challenges Scotland may nevertheless face in the event of a ‘no deal’ on 31 October.
It details steps to protect food and medicine supplies, support businesses and safeguard vulnerable citizens. Specific initiatives have included the establishment of a Scottish Medicines Shortage Response Group and a commitment to create a £7 million Rapid Poverty Mitigation Fund in the event of a ‘no deal’.
Plans have been prepared for the old port in Stranraer to be used to hold up to 300 HGVs if traffic flows between Northern Ireland and Scotland increase. Farmers and crofters are receiving 95% of their Common Agricultural Policy payments early to shield them from the immediate effects of a ‘no deal’ and consideration is being given to increasing Marine Scotland’s surveillance capabilities.
The report states that preparations are being made “unnecessarily difficult” by the lack of engagement and information from the UK Government. Scottish Ministers have been invited to only eight out of more than 50 meetings of the UK Government’s EU Exit Operations committee.
Commenting on the report, Tom Arthur MSP said:
“Any departure from the European Union will have a detrimental impact on the people and economy of East Renfrewshire and Scotland as a whole, but a no-deal would be especially damaging.“The Scottish Government strenuously opposes a no-deal but, as a responsible government, we must do all we can to address its potential impact.
“This report helps further understand the risks we face, the efforts being made by the Scottish Government to mitigate those risks and where responsibility lies with the UK Government.
“It details steps to protect food and medicine supplies, support businesses and safeguard vulnerable citizens, as well as a commitment to create a £7 million Rapid Poverty Mitigation Fund in the event of a ‘no deal’.
“However, it is impossible to prepare for all the problems a no-deal Brexit would cause.
“Even at this late stage, the Scottish Government is urging the UK Government to rule out such a course. The only way to stop the impact of ‘no deal’ is to take such a disastrous policy off the table.”
The Scottish Government Overview of ‘No Deal’ Preparations is available on the Scottish Government website.
Of the £98.25 million received from the UK Government in EU exit consequentials, the Scottish Government has spent or committed £98.7 million. It will receive a £40 million share of funding announced by the UK Government on 1 August and has bid for a further £52 million.