No Brexit deal would cost Scotland £12.7b

Javier Stokes
January 16, 2018

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says a so-called "no deal" Brexit without a trade agreement would cost Scotland's economy 14 billion euros (12.7 billion United Kingdom pounds) a year.

Ms Sturgeon was speaking as the Scottish government prepares to publish their assessment of the impact of Brexit on the Scottish economy.

The updated analysis warns that a hard Brexit, in which the United Kingdom falls back on World Trade Organisation trading rules, would cost Scotland up to £12.7bn and cause real household incomes to fall by 9.6%, or £2,263 a head.

Wes Streeting, one of the most prominent advocates for remaining in the single market on the Labour back benches at Westminster, said the Scottish Labour leader had given his party the hardest Brexit stance at Holyrood and urged him to reconsider.

Theresa May's government has consistently accused the SNP of undermining the Brexit vote.

She had reiterated her party's view on a second independence vote, saying the country must have a choice at the end of Brexit negotiations with the European Union, signaling a new referendum on Scottish independence. However, the United Kingdom government has already ruled out remaining part of the market.

She was scathing about repeated claims by Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, that single market membership outside the European Union was impossible - a view he repeated on Sunday.

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That was "absolutely, manifestly, beyond any doubt the option which will do the least damage to our economy", Sturgeon said.

Scotland economy will face a loss of £12.7 billion ($17.4 billion) by 2030 if the United Kingdom leaves European single market without a trade deal, a paper published by Scottish government said on Monday.

"I believe there is a majority in the House of Commons for remaining in the single market if Labour gets its act together", she said.

EEA membership would still involve a 2.7% cut in GDP or £688 a head; a free-trade agreement would cut it by 6.1% or £1,610 a head and WTO rules would be an 8.5% cut to GDP or £2,263 lost a head.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has said that the publication of Scotland's Place in Europe highlights the need for the United Kingdom to remain within the single market and customs union.

"The fact that the Prime Minister wants to leave not only the political structures of the EU but come out of the European Economic Area shows just how extreme the UK Government position is".

The UK Government has already made it clear it will seek to take Britain out of the single market and pursue a bespoke trade deal with the EU.

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