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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Tory Leadership Candidates are Toxic for Scotland’s Trade

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The SNP has called every current Tory leadership candidate ‘toxic’ for the future of Scottish trade, as they try to outdo each other on implementing an extreme Brexit. 

Scotland’s exports to European countries are worth around £16.4bn to the Scottish economy, and Scotland’s food and drink sector alone currently accounts for the largest share of UK food and drink exports. 

However, the SNP is slamming the Tory leadership candidates for their obsession with Brexit despite repeated warnings from economists that the UK is lagging behind the rest of the G7 in pandemic trade recovery, UK business investment trailing behind other industrialised countries, and the OECD predicting the UK will have the slowest growth in the G20 next year (apart from war-sanctioned Russia).

Minette Batters, NFU President, also condemned Westminster’s post Brexit trade deals saying ‘time and time again, we said they are going to cause harm…and that was ignored.’ 

Only last month, a report by the Resolution Foundation highlighted the “devastating” impact of Brexit – lower wages, reduced productivity and a shrinking economy.

The report concluded that Brexit is making the UK poorer and will see a reduction in productivity and wages in the decade ahead. 

Commenting SNP MSP Jim Fairlie said: 

“Scotland’s trade has an incredible amount of potential, but it’s clear that being subject to Westminster control has held us back from reaching our full potential. 

“The damage being caused to Scotland’s trade by the Tory UK government has only become worse as a result of Brexit and being ripped out of the European single market – increasing barriers both to freedom of movement and to trade with the largest single market in the world. 

“This is now set to be compounded by the fact that the UK is threatening to provoke a catastrophic trade dispute with the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol. 

“The SNP Government is using all the powers we currently have to protect our trade from the damage of Brexit but, as an independent country, Scotland can rid itself of the consequences of a Brexit and Tory governments we didn’t vote for and have the full powers to protect our interests, markets, and producers.” 

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