Warning that ‘no deal’ will harm Scotland’s economy.
The UK Government must agree to extend Article 50 and rule out ‘no deal’ Brexit, which risks imposing severe economic damage and rising unemployment on Scotland, Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell said.
The Scottish Government will continue to act wherever possible to minimise and mitigate the impact on Scotland. However, it will not be possible to avoid the major economic costs of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Speaking after delivering his latest Ministerial Statement at the Scottish Parliament, Mr Russell said:
“In 38 days the UK is scheduled to leave the EU and the economic impact will be felt across the country.
“Today’s labour market statistics show that the Scottish economy and jobs market continue to strengthen. But Brexit, and in particular a ‘no deal’ Brexit, will put this at risk.
“Later this week the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will provide economic detail on the stark reality that a ‘no deal’ Brexit will have. We estimate it could result in an increase in unemployment in Scotland of around 100,000, more than doubling the unemployment rate.
“Of course, the Prime Minister could change this course of action by extending Article 50 and ruling out ‘no deal’. The best outcome is to remain in the EU, in line with the wishes of the people in Scotland, as even the UK Government’s current deal will remove Scotland from the European Single Market - which is eight times the size of the UK alone - hitting our economy hard. As weeks go by there is still no clarity whatsoever about the future relationship with the EU.
“As a responsible government we will do all that we can to ensure that the people of Scotland get a clear, consistent message about the work that is being done and what actions they need to take.”
Constitutional Secretary Michael Russell's statement can be read here.