Reckless Refusal to Extend Transition Period Will Devastate UK Economy

With 100 days to go till the end of the Brexit transition period, the SNP has criticised the Tory government’s “reckless refusal” to extend the transition period at the same time as further coronavirus restrictions are introduced and warnings over the economic impact grow.

Responding to the UK government’s statement in Westminster on preparations for the end of the transition period, SNP MP Pete Wishart stated that the UK Government’s extreme Brexit plans demonstrated beyond all doubt that decisions about Scotland’s future should be taken by the people who live in Scotland and not Boris Johnson.

It comes after the UK government’s very own analysis outlined UK hauliers facing up to 7,000-truck queues and two-day delays for cargo leaving the UK to the EU.

And that only 20-40% of small and medium enterprises would be ready for the UK’s new relationship with the EU.

Meanwhile, a report published by the UK in a Changing Europe group today concluded that a potential no-deal outcome could lead to “risks of queues and shortages of food”, and that in the “long run Brexit is likely to be more significant than Covid-19.”

Commenting, SNP MP Pete Wishart said:

“At the same time as further difficult coronavirus restrictions are introduced and the economic impact of the pandemic continues to hit businesses and people’s livelihoods, it’s beyond irresponsible for Boris Johnson to ignore the warnings and instead plough ahead with his disastrous Brexit plans.

“The UK government’s own warnings of 7,000-truck queues, two-day delays to export cargo, and that only 20-40% of small and medium businesses will be ready for the UK’s exit at the end of the year, makes clear that an extension to the transition period deadline is absolutely critical.

“Businesses are already struggling to stay afloat as they deal with the impact of further coronavirus measures, but it would be a triple whammy if at the same time the UK government shuts down support in the form of the furlough scheme next month and delivers a bad deal Brexit or damaging no-deal Brexit just a matter of weeks later.

“Either outcome would be devastating for Scotland and the Tories’ reckless refusal to put businesses and people’s livelihoods ahead of narrow-minded ideology will push many over the economic cliff-edge.

“Scotland’s voice and interests have been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process.

“It’s clearer than ever that the only way to protect Scotland’s economy is to become an independent country.”