To mark Europe Day, the SNP has renewed calls for a two-year extension to the Brexit transition period to help protect the economy while the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic – saying “the ongoing Covid-19 emergency must be the sole focus of Europe’s collective efforts.”
The SNP’s Shadow Foreign Secretary and former MEP, Alyn Smith MP (pictured), has said that imposing Brexit in the middle of a global pandemic would further damage jobs, businesses and the economy at a time when we should be protecting these things.
Figures from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), have all suggested the UK economy could shrink by 35%, with two million people losing their jobs as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Commenting, Alyn Smith MP said:
“On Europe Day – which marks peace and unity across Europe – I am urging Boris Johnson to re-think bull-dozing ahead with Brexit and extend the transition period for two years so that all of us in Europe can focus on protecting our economies amidst this crisis.
“The ongoing Covid-19 emergency must be the sole focus of Europe’s collective efforts.
“Figures from multiple organisations have shown that the UK economy will take a massive hit, with two million people losing their jobs, as a result of coronavirus – it would be unthinkable for the UK government to hammer the economy further with a hard Brexit at a time when it will need all the help it can get to protect jobs, businesses and living standards.
“Securing an extension is the only responsible option. Crashing out of the EU with a bad deal or no deal this year would be the final blow for many businesses that are already struggling to survive – and it would leave people even poorer and worse off at a time of greatest need.”