ScotGov: Brexit 'will make Scotland poorer'
27 November 2018, 14:45 | Updated: 27 November 2018, 14:47
The Scottish Government says its latest analysis shows the UK Government's proposed Brexit deal will make Scotland poorer.
The administration said its assessment suggests that the proposal could cost the equivalent of £1,600 for each person in Scotland by 2030, compared to continued EU membership.
It argues that the cost could end up being higher than that because it is not certain that a free trade deal will be agreed.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement, to be voted on by MPs on December 11, is "a bad deal".
She said: "The analysis shows why the deal agreed by the Prime Minister is unacceptable to the Scottish Government and damaging to the people of Scotland. No government of Scotland with the interests of this and future generations at heart could possibly accept it.
"This deal will take Scotland out of the EU against our will and remove us from the European Single Market of 500 million people, which is eight times larger than the UK market. It will take us out of the Customs Union and the benefits of EU trade deals with more than 40 countries across the globe. In short, it will make us poorer."
The Scottish Government said the deal leaves future trading arrangements uncertain for both goods and services, and would put Scotland at a potential competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland.
Ministers argue that Scotland's working age population would decline by 3% without EU migration with the ending of the free movement of people.
Ms Sturgeon continued: "This deal will damage our NHS and make it harder to attract and retain the social care and health service staff we need. If the backstop is activated - as seems highly likely - it will place Scotland at a serious competitive disadvantage with Northern Ireland. It will mean promises to the Scottish fishing industry being broken.
"Perhaps worst of all, it will take away opportunities from the young people of Scotland and from the generations to come.
"Quite simply this is a bad deal, which the UK Government is seeking to impose on the people of Scotland regardless of the damage it will cause. It will not end uncertainty. It will extend it. We are being asked to accept a blindfold Brexit with all the difficult decisions kicked down the road."