South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine has called on the UK government to extend the Brexit transition period before the deadline of June the 30th to avoid a second massive economic hit.
Ms McAlpine’s intervention comes alongside mounting evidence that a no deal Brexit will cause massive damage to businesses and the economy on top of the devastating effects of the COVID pandemic.
The SNP MSP cited Philip Rycroft the former Permanent Secretary of the Department for Exiting the European Union who was giving evidence at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee parliamentary meeting chaired by Ms McAlpine last week. He agreed that leaving the EU without a deal would cause huge damage to the economy and businesses would face added complexity and uncertainty.
This was confirmed by a new study from the Scottish Government which shows billions of pounds could be wiped from the Scottish economy if an extension is not agreed.
Ms McAlpine also quoted evidence from Mike Russell, the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, Mike Russell who told her during a question and answer session in parliament that many businesses in Scotland would not be able to bear the extra costs on top of the damage caused by COVID.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,
“Evidence is mounting from both economic studies and respected professionals that a no deal Brexit will cause massive damage to businesses across Scotland. Mr Rycroft and Mr Russell have both told me in the past week that the impact will be enormous.
“The new study from the Scottish Government also indicates there will be further major costs from Brexit for years to come and highlights that, without an extension or having a free trade deal in place, Scotland’s agriculture, fisheries and manufacturing sectors will be especially badly hit.
“Coronavirus is already causing enormous economic disruption to businesses in Dumfries and Galloway – they simply don’t have the capacity to prepare for Brexit on top of a pandemic.
“It would be an act of extraordinary recklessness for the UK government to allow us to crash out of the transition period at the end of this year. They must do the sensible thing and agree to an extension to the transition phase if they are to protect these businesses from the harm of a costly Brexit on top of the costs of the COVID crisis.”