Scottish Government announces Brexit contingency plans

Scottish Parliament

THE Scottish Government has announced contingency plans to cope with the ‘damaging impacts’ of Brexit.

With Britain set to leave the European Union (EU) on December 31, the Scottish Government said the measures will aim to mitigate the ‘worst effects’ of the withdrawal.

The prospect of a no deal will Scotland taken out of the single market and the custom union, meaning the end of freedom of movement.

The Scottish Government’s current concerns include the introduction of tariffs, shortages of medical supplies and an end of freedom of movement which would negatively impact jobs.

Support measures put in place in Scotland include:

  • Working with UK administrations to ensure patients get the medicines and medical supplies needed
  • Ensuring businesses struggling with cash flow are supported by working with banks through the Banking and Economy Forum
  • Scottish Enterprise offering targeted advice and guidance to 1200 companies assessed as being particularly vulnerable to Brexit by the end of the year
  • Refreshed advice, guidance and support to help all Scottish businesses be ready for the end of transition through the Prepare for Brexit website, including EU Exit Helpline, self-help checklist, webinars, articles and newsletters
  • £30 million flexible funding to enable local authorities to tackle financial insecurity over the winter, including extension of free school meals during school holidays
  • The Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland working with universities and colleges to ensure they meet the needs of a post-Brexit labour market
  • The Scottish Government’s resilience room (SGORR) will activate in December to coordinate the government response to the most significant issues arising post-exit

Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said, “It is beyond belief that, in the midst of a global pandemic, Scotland is just five weeks away from being removed from the EU single market and customs union against its will by the UK Government.

“Whatever the outcome of the current negotiations between the UK and the EU we know Scotland’s economy and its communities are facing unnecessary damage at the worst possible time.

“The Scottish Government  will  continue to do everything we can to mitigate against the consequences of the UK Government’s reckless actions to support, as much as we can, our economy, health services and vulnerable communities.

“We will continue that work throughout the transition period and beyond, but the stark truth is that we simply cannot avert every negative outcome and our view is clear that the best future for Scotland is to become an independent country.

“Only by becoming independent can Scotland look forward to once again becoming an equal partner in the EU and take advantage of all the benefits that membership brings.”