Cost of EU exit ‘must be’ covered by UK Government.
The Scottish Government has requested £52 million from the UK Government’s EU Exit Operational Contingency Fund ahead of 31 October to help prepare for a ‘no deal’ exit from the EU.
Restating the Scottish Government’s opposition to a Brexit of any kind, and in particular to a ‘no deal’ Brexit, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay called on the UK Government to cover all additional costs associated with preparing to leave the EU, including those beyond 31 October.
The UK Government has indicated that funding is available where Scotland faces disproportionate costs.
Requests include funding to support:
- the disproportionate effect of ‘no deal’ on rural communities including ensuring medical support reaches these areas
- increased demand on Marine Scotland compliance activities around Scotland’s coastline
- additional communications to EU citizens living in Scotland
- increased demands on Police Scotland
- poverty mitigation measures to support financially vulnerable households
Mr Mackay said:
“The UK Government now seems to be actively pursuing a ‘no deal’ outcome which is utterly unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs.
“We have requested £52 million from the UK Government’s fund to help us prepare for a ‘no deal’ outcome. This is the minimum requirement for operational activity but the real costs of a ‘no deal’ Brexit will massively outweigh these and further funding will be required.
“Exiting the EU was not Scotland’s choice and the Scottish Government has been clear that any related costs must be covered by the UK Government. The Scottish Government should not have to cut spending on public services to fund Brexit preparations.
“As a responsible government, we are already taking steps to protect jobs and our economy from a ‘no deal’ Brexit and we will set out those plans to Parliament shortly but we are facing additional and disproportionate costs to mitigate the impact of such an outcome.
“We will continue make the case for staying in the EU and will stand firm against efforts to take us out against our will.”