Tories Must Pay Compensation to Scotland as Brexit Costs Pile Up

The SNP has said Boris Johnson must “pay compensation to Scotland” – as Scottish businesses face mounting costs and disruption from the Tory government’s hard Brexit.

As Westminster returns from recess, Ian Blackford MP said it is “unforgivable” that Scotland is being forced to pay the price for the damage the Tory government is doing – and called for a multi-billion compensation package to mitigate the costs to Scotland’s businesses and economy.

The SNP Westminster Leader said it is now beyond doubt that independence is the only way to protect Scotland’s interests and place in Europe.

It comes amid growing warnings in the week since the Tory Brexit deal was imposed:

Scotland’s leading seafood exporters have said firms face a “horror show” of disruption with ‘grave’ implications, warning “In a very short time we could see the destruction of a centuries-old market which contributes significantly to the Scottish economy”

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey predicted the Tory Brexit deal could cost the UK economy more than £80billion – with UK GDP hit by four per cent

Marks & Spencer became the latest company to warn of the growing administrative burden and increase in export costs

DPD stopped road delivery of parcels from UK to Europe

The UK car industry warned of rising costs and bureaucracy

Chilled transport and storage companies described “confusion and delays” and warned “we are building to quite a significant potential disruption”

European retailers stopped delivering to the UK in protest against Brexit tax rules

Experts warned the “Alice in Wonderland” Brexit deal was “fiendishly complicated”, “very unstable” and created “quite a lot of difficulties for business”

The European Commission has already announced a €5 billion Brexit mitigation fund for EU Member States to “help businesses and economic sectors, workers, regions and local communities suffering from the impact of the end of transition period.”

UK government analysis shows EU membership is the best deal for Scotland.

The Warwick study estimates Scotland has already lost £3.94billion from Brexit.

Scottish Government analysis estimates Johnson’s deal could cut Scotland’s GDP by 6.1% – costing £9billion, or the equivalent of £1600 for every person, by 2030 compared to EU membership.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum.

Seventeen consecutive polls have shown a sustained majority for independence in Scotland.

The most recent poll, published by Savanta ComRes on 17th December, put support for independence at a record high of 58 per cent.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:

“It is completely unforgivable that Scotland is being forced to pay such a devastating high price for Boris Johnson’s extreme Tory Brexit deal, with mounting costs, red tape and disruption.

“The Tories must apologise to Scottish businesses and pay compensation to Scotland for the long-term damage they are doing to our economy – costing us billions in lost trade and growth.

“This disastrous Tory Brexit was a completely unnecessary act of economic vandalism, which has been inflicted against Scotland’s will.

“It is now beyond doubt that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.

“With businesses, industries and communities across Scotland warning of rising costs, bureaucracy and delays, it is clear Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal has already left the UK poorer and worse off – with absolutely no benefit to Scotland at all.

“Every promise has been broken.

“The UK government must now provide an urgent multi-billion package of compensation to Scotland to mitigate the lasting Brexit harm done to Scottish businesses, industries and communities.

“Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process.

“People in Scotland have the right to determine our own future, protect our interests, and regain the full benefits of EU membership as an independent country.”