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08/10/19 14:45

‘No deal’ Brexit preparations published

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.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“The document we have published today sets out not just the measures we are taking to mitigate the worst impacts of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, but also the areas where we require action from the UK Government.

“It is the product of an extensive programme of work. It is important, though, to be clear that there is no amount of preparation that could ever make us entirely ready for the needless and significant impact of a ‘no deal’.

“There is no doubt that a ‘no deal’ outcome would have profound consequences for jobs, investment and living standards across Scotland. To even countenance ‘no deal’ is illogical and economically illiterate. The UK Government should do the responsible thing and rule it out now.”

Background

The Scottish Government Overview of ‘No Deal’ Preparations is available on the Scottish Government website.

Of the £98.7 million received from the UK Government in EU exit consequentials, the Scottish Government has spent or committed £98.25 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.