UK Government Must Extend Brexit Transition Period or Face Economic Disaster

The SNP has said Scotland and the UK will face “economic disaster” between the risk of a no-deal or hard Brexit and the impact of the coronavirus crisis if the UK government fails to extend the Brexit transition period.

The UK government updated MPs on the fourth and final round of Brexit negotiation talks – making it clear that negotiations are in deadlock, particularly around honouring and implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol and reconciling diverging positions on fisheries.

Barrie Deas, the Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fisherman’s Organisations, said “July looks like a goner for a deal” as the June deadline for a transition extension request approaches.

Michel Barnier also said last week that “there have been no significant areas of progress,” that the UK was “continuing to backtrack” on its commitments made in the Political Declaration, and that they “don’t think we can go on like this forever.”

The SNP Scottish Government has said that ending the Brexit transition this year could remove £3 billion from the Scottish economy in just two years on top of the impact of coronavirus.

Commenting, SNP Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Pete Wishart MP (pictured) said:

“If the UK government do not take the common-sense approach and request an extension for the Brexit transition period then between the risk of a no-deal or hard Brexit and the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis, Scotland and the UK will face economic disaster.

“The coronavirus crisis has already put businesses under unprecedented financial pressure and crashing out of the EU at the end of this year – with a bad deal or No-Deal – would deliver a devastating economic blow from which many businesses would struggle to recover.

“Scotland’s food and drink, manufacturing, fisheries and agriculture sectors would be particularly badly hit by such an outcome.

“An extension is available and Boris Johnson must take it before he inflicts a disastrous hard or no deal Brexit on Scotland in less than seven months’ time.”