Brexit has been labelled as an “ongoing, cumulative calamity” – one year on from the UK cutting ties with the EU.
The UK officially ended its 47-year membership of the EU on January 31, 2020.
However, a transition period – during which nothing changed – remained in place until December 31, 2020.
Rules governing the new relationship between the UK and the EU then took effect from January 1 last year.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to “maximise the benefits of Brexit” in 2022.
However, consumers have been warned to brace for fresh disruption, with thousands of regulations made by Brussels – automatically kept on the statue book after Brexit – under review by Downing Street officials.
The Scottish Government has warned of the impact of Brexit and has strongly made the case for re-joining the EU as an independent nation.
Scotland’s external affairs secretary Angus Robertson indicated that the decision to leave the EU was taken against the wishes of the country.
“We believe Brexit is an ongoing, cumulative calamity – for the economy, for business, for the young, for workers, for women, for everyone: for our society,” said Robertson.
“Let us not forget – the decision to leave the EU, and the terms on which we left it, were taken against Scotland’s wishes and went firmly against our outward-facing, co-operative and internationalist ethos.
“The benefits of being part of the EU have been lost. The Turing Scheme is a watered-down imitation of Erasmus+ which will see support for our most disadvantaged learners cut, and opportunities for all our students, staff and young people reduced.”
Robertson insisted that Scotland remains an “inclusive European nation”, as it seeks to regain membership.
He said: “The labour and skills shortages we are witnessing lay bare the extraordinary recklessness of a hard Brexit taking us out of the EU, the Single Market and Customs Union during a global pandemic.
“We remain an inclusive European nation – we share with the EU a vision for Europe that embodies democratic values, promotes the wellbeing of all of society, rises fully to the challenge of the global climate emergency and supports a sustainable economic recovery from the global pandemic.
“That is why we plan to re-join the EU, as an independent nation.”