Westminster Notes - There is no such thing as ‘making Brexit work’

It has, as always, been an exceptionally busy time as your MP. As I write this article, I am fresh from the Chamber in the House of Commons, after challenging UK Government Ministers on their disastrous record – in particular on the cost-of-living crisis and imposing a hard and damaging Brexit on Scotland.

Friday, 19th May 2023, 3:29pm
Westminster Notes - There is no such thing as ‘making Brexit work’

As readers will know, Scotland by a landslide voted to stay part of the European Union. But we have been torn out against our democratic wishes. The largest act of economic self-harm any country has inflicted on itself in living memory. Brexit was imposed on us by a Westminster Government we didn’t elect, don’t want, and which has shown scant regard to the needs or ambitions of Scotland’s people.

Well, what have we to show for Brexit? The loss of free movement across Europe. The end of ERASMUS; cutting off opportunities for our young people to study abroad. A tidal wave of bureaucracy which adds costs to our fishermen who have faced huge challenges in exporting their catch which once seamlessly entered the lucrative EU common market.

Our farmers face huge difficulty too – with the NFUS stating “No sector will be more directly affected by Brexit than ours”. Farmers are now unable to export seed potatoes to Northern Ireland, or the EU. The post-Brexit Australia Trade Deal means our supermarkets will be flooded with lower-quality produce from Australia, with a focus on quantity, while the focus of Angus and Scottish farmers is quality.

On a macroeconomic level, £100 billion a year of output is lost according to Bloomberg Economics. And the London School of Economics estimates that Brexit had already cost UK households £5.8 billion in higher food bills by the end of 2021.

The UK Government are using Brexit to strip workers’ rights with the Retained EU Law Bill, and the Minimum Service Levels Bill eroding the rights and protections we all cherish. There is no “making Brexit work”. The only solution for Scotland – for our economy, our people, and our future – is to get ba ck into the EU at the earliest opportunity. To be back at the table, with a voice and vote in building a fairer, greener continent and a better world with Independence. Scotland said ‘not yet’ to Independence in 2014 – we are in a very different Scotland now.

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