Moray SNP News
SNP MSP Richard Lochhead has called on the UK government to extend the Brexit transition period in light of coronavirus – with new analysis showing billions of pounds could be wiped from the Scottish economy.
The transition arrangements currently keep the UK close to the EU and can be extended for two years – beyond 31 December - if the UK Government asks for an extension by the end of this month.
But a new study from the Scottish Government says if an extension is not agreed, Scottish GDP could be up to 1.1% lower after two years. The cumulative loss of economic activity from leaving the EU would be up to £3 billion over those two years – on top of the devastating effects of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The paper indicates there will be further major costs from Brexit for years to come and also 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. Mr Lochhead has said these sectors as essential to Moray meaning our local economy would be amongst the worst affected.
Richard Lochhead MSP said:
“Coronavirus is causing enormous economic disruption and people across Moray expect government to be focused on protecting public health and the Scottish economy.
“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.
“Regardless of your opinion on Brexit or independence, it makes no sense to crash out of the European single market at precisely the moment we need stability.
“Businesses in Moray are focused on securing their future – they simply don’t have the capacity to prepare for Brexit on top of a pandemic.
“The current deadline for the transition period combined with the UK Government’s dogmatic approach means the prospect of a no deal scenario is very real and we know from all the economic analysis that crashing out without a deal would be a hammer blow for Moray’s export oriented economy.
“UK Ministers must do the sensible thing – they need to extend the transition period and protect jobs in Moray.”
COVID-19: The Case for Extending the Brexit Transition Period