Brexit preparation

Constitutional Relations Secretary warns of no-deal ‘chaos’.

Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell today set out the actions the Scottish Government is taking to protect Scotland, as much as possible, from the ‘threats’ of Brexit.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Mr Russell said existing financial and staff resources, backed by £27 million of additional preparation funding, are being aligned towards areas with specific EU exit-related demands to ensure an effective response.

Mr Russell warned that an unprecedented number of pieces of legislation known as statutory instruments, required to prepare Scottish laws for Brexit, will place a heavy burden on the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government.

He reiterated that the best option for Scotland’s economy, society and people is to have continued membership of the European Single Market and Customs Union.

Addressing MSPs on the Scottish Government’s preparations for EU exit, Mr Russell said:

“However carefully we prepare for a no deal scenario, it will still result in chaos. Even the UK Government’s own no deal plans will require a plethora of agreements with the EU in order to work effectively. In a situation where negotiations have broken down, we have to ask how plausible this is.

“A no deal is not inevitable, but the Chequers Agreement is not deliverable, and a blind Brexit is not acceptable. So, not leaving would be best and the only alternative thereafter is continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union which is essential for our economy, our society and the people of Scotland.

“The Scottish Government will continue to make that case whilst fulfilling our duty of protecting Scotland as best we can from the threats of a Brexit – any Brexit - that we do not want, and that we did not vote for.”


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