UK government accused of damaging Scottish economy over Brexit silence

The UK government has been accused of putting the Scottish economy at risk by its failure to explain the definition of their “Brexit means Brexit” stance.

Businesses and organisations across the country have voiced fears that leaving the EU could push up costs and damage sales.

Scottish Nationalist politicians fighting to keep Scotland in the EU despite the UK vote to leave, even if it means holding a second independence referendum to split up Britain, have accused the Westminster government of a dereliction of duty in the face of serious economic risks.

Independent analysis compiled by the Scottish Government claims leaving the EU could cost the Scottish economy up to £11 billion a year.

Joan McAlpine MSP

Joan McAlpine MSP

“Businesses across Scotland are concerned that leaving the EU will push up costs, hit consumer confidence and limit access to skilled workers – with some putting recruitment plans on hold or even considering relocation,” said SNP MSP Joan McAlpine.

“It’s bad enough to attempt to drag Scotland out of the EU against our will – but doing so without even the basics of a plan of what a Brexit will look like is just complete incompetence.”

The SNP claim the continued silence on the details of Britain’s proposed relationship with the EU and the single market has caused a serious drop in business confidence and that some companies are considering leaving the UK and freezing recruitment.

A recent survey by ScotlandIS, the trade body for Scotland’s digital technologies industry, found 75 per cent of respondents in the industry expected Brexit to negatively impact access to skilled staff, sales, and customer confidence – and that 22 per cent would consider relocating their business.

Similarly, research across the UK by Lloyds Bank showed a sharp drop in business confidence while a PwC survey found that 48 per cent of SMEs expect business costs to rise and 36 per cent plan to put recruitment plans on hold.

Third Sector leaders have also raised concerns about the ability of the sector to cope without access to European funding.

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