Michael Russell urges UK Government to avoid 'No Deal' as it publishes EU-UK legal text.
Constitution Secretary Michael Russell has responded after the UK government published a series of texts showing how its version of a future EU-UK relationship, following the current Brexit transition period, could be enshrined in a legal agreement.
The transition period is scheduled to finish on 31 Dec 2020 but can be extended by mutual agreement provided a decision is taken by 1 July.
Mr Russell said:
“People in Scotland will be utterly dismayed that the UK Government is pressing ahead with these complex negotiations when all their efforts should be focussed on tackling the current unprecedented crisis.
“Despite making many requests to see these texts, the Scottish Government only received these legal texts a few hours before publication so we have not yet had the opportunity to analyse in any detail what is proposed.
“But it is clear the UK Government’s plans for only a basic trade deal or what increasingly seems to be their preferred option of no deal will be a devastating blow for Scotland’s economy already hit hard by coronavirus.
“Yet again the UK Government has chosen to treat Scotland’s interests and views with contempt and they have failed to involve any of the devolved governments in any meaningful way.
“Last week’s negotiating round again failed to progress the most difficult issues. This makes it more urgent than ever that the UK Government asks for a two year extension to the current transition period to avoid the the disaster of No Deal in just over seven months’ time."
UK publication on future relationship with EU.
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