The SNP has condemned the Tory government’s extreme Brexit after a new report laid bare it has hit businesses with “increased costs, paperwork and border delays”.
The report from the Westminster Public Accounts Committee comes the day after Jacob Rees-Mogg was given a new role as Minister for Brexit Opportunities and a couple of weeks after a report titled ‘Benefits of Brexit’ was published.
Speaking on Good Morning Scotland today, James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food and Drink, said he was struggling to find any Brexit opportunities and was “none the wiser” after reading the ‘Benefits of Brexit’ report.
Earlier this month, a YouGov poll found that 65% of those asked across the UK said they think that the UK has not benefited at all or by very much since the UK left the EU.
In Scotland, the results suggest that figure rises to 75%.
Commenting, the SNP’s Europe Spokesperson, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, said:
“This report, as well as the widespread warnings and comments from businesses, lays bare the true impact of the Tories’ extreme Brexit – which has taken Scotland out of a market seven times bigger than the UK.
“It makes clear that Boris Johnson’s talk of ‘Brexit Opportunities’ and ‘Benefits’ is nonsense.
“Indeed, this report highlights the hollowness of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s new role as Minister for Brexit Opportunities.
“Businesses have now spent years looking for the so-called opportunities they were promised would come from Brexit and haven’t managed to find any.
“Unless he follows in his leader’s footsteps, using bluff and bluster to get though his new role, it is hard to see what makes him think he will find these elusive Brexit Benefits – there simply aren’t any.
“Firms have been warning for years about the Brexit-related customs delays, soaring costs, red tape and reduced access to workforce – perhaps this report will make the Tory government sit up and listen.
“Along with households, businesses are already struggling as a result of the Tory-made cost of living crisis – the Tories’ Brexit is further compounding this.
“And recent reports suggest that the increased costs being faced by businesses will end up being passed on to consumers across Scotland and the UK.
“Brexit, which Scotland didn’t vote for, has already cost Scotland’s economy almost £4 billion and the Tory government has seen our country short-changed by £650 million in post-Brexit funding.
“We were told by the Better-Together campaign in 2014 to ‘Vote NO to stay in the EU’ – but we have been dragged out against the will of Scottish voters and it has been an unmitigated disaster.
“It is beyond doubt that the only way to protect our interests, and escape the long-term damage of Brexit, is to become an independent country and re-join the largest single market in the world.”