Johnson’s Brexit deal ‘would cost Scots economy £9bn’

Scottish Government analysis described as 'party political broadcast' by Tory MSPs.

Getty Images/STV

The Scottish economy would suffer a £9bn hit – £1600 per person – under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, according to Scottish Government analysis.

The impact study suggested Scotland’s GDP could fall by 6% by 2030 compared to if the country stayed in the EU.

Scottish Conservative MSPs, however, described the report as a “party political broadcast for the Scottish National Party” ahead of the general election.

The potential for trade barriers and delays after the UK leaves the European single market and customs union could leave Scotland’s food and drink, digital and service sectors particularly vulnerable, the paper added.

It also pointed to the different arrangements for Northern Ireland in the deal, which would maintain access to the EU single market, saying they put Scottish firms at a competitive disadvantage.

The study further highlights the potential for a decline in the working-age population caused by ending the free movement of EU nationals to Scotland.

Constitutional relations secretary Michael Russell outlined the government’s findings in a ministerial statement to MSPs.

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 – 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.”

He went on: “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.”

But Scottish Conservative MSPs accused Russell of using the statement to stage a “party political broadcast for the Scottish National Party” ahead of the general election on December 12.

And the party’s shadow constitution secretary Adam Tomkins called on the SNP MSP to “apologise” for suggesting Boris Johnson had not been pursuing negotiations with Brussels.

Tomkins added: “Is it not the case that the SNP rail against this deal because they want the most chaotic Brexit imaginable?

“Is it not the case, indeed, that they want a no-deal Brexit because the only thing they care about is independence.

“They think that the shortest route to independence is via a no-deal Brexit.

“Isn’t that the real reason why Mr Russell has come to parliament today, armed not with apologies but with yet another stockpile of manufactured grievance?”

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