Scotland’s Constitution Secretary has said there have been “no advantages” to leaving the European Union on the second anniversary of the end of the transition period.
Angus Robertson pointed to recent studies by the London School of Economics which found food bills are £210 higher per household per year as a result of tariffs imposed by leaving the bloc, as well as an Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) study which predicted long-term productivity to be 4% lower as a result of Brexit.
Robertson said the Scottish Government remained committed to holding another referendum on Scottish independence and would continue to publish prospectus papers in the new year.
The UK Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the Scottish Parliament could not legislate for an independence referendum and the powers would need to come from Westminster.
“The damages caused by Brexit just continue to mount. In the two years since the end of the transition period, we have seen no advantages to leaving the European Union,” he said.
“Fundamentally on the wrong path”
Robertson added that the UK economy was “fundamentally on the wrong path”, with “no real alternative on offer”.
However, a UK Government source argued that the EU was still a “vital partner”, accounting for almost £350 billion in exports in the 12 months up to June.
They added the Scottish Government should concentrate on helping Scottish businesses make the most of the “opportunities” offered by Brexit “rather than scaremongering”.
Robertson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to giving the people of Scotland a choice about the future they want – a greener, wealthier and fairer economy within the European Union, or a sluggish, stagnating economy outside of the European Union.
“We will continue to publish the Building a New Scotland series of prospectus papers to ensure people can make that informed choice.
He added: “Businesses are suffering from lower exports to the EU, labour shortages and recruitment challenges.
“These issues are also affecting our NHS, with new research by the Nuffield Trust showing that lower EU migration is exacerbating staff shortages.”
Scotland’s return to the EU
The Nuffield Trust said in a report in November “it appears likely that the decision to leave the EU in 2016 plays a role”, but added that “deeper research into drivers of migration is needed”.
“Scotland is and always has been a proud European nation and we’re determined to continue to be an active and constructive participant on EU matters, which will ease the process of Scotland’s future return to the EU.
“This is in stark contrast to the approach being taken by the UK Government, intent on undermining retained EU law which will be hugely damaging to people and businesses in Scotland.”
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