One of the most challenging aspects of the debate surrounding the UK’s vote to leave the EU is attempting to ascertain the facts. It is why I released the book Scotland in Europe (copies of which are available here: scotlandineurope.eu/book ). Events this week show the scale of the challenge we face.
Not only is there misinformation being deliberately promoted by the Brexiteers but the UK Government is also trying to hide the facts from the people.
A Freedom of Information request to the Scotland Office has revealed that its civil servants have helped the UK Government to analyse the impact of Brexit upon various sectors of the UK economy.
But shortly afterwards, in an embarrassing appearance before the Scottish Parliament’s Europe committee, David Mundell revealed there is no Scotland specific analysis despite it previously being implied by David Davis that there was such a document.
Frankly, as the Convenor Joan McAlpine MSP said after the meeting, it is remarkable that such an analysis has not been undertaken. It is even more remarkable that it is David Mundell’s opinion that this work should not be made available for public debate, despite much of it covering sectors that are wholly under the control of the Scottish Parliament. You can watch the session here:
This appearance came just hours after a vote in the House of Commons calling for their release. It is not yet clear if the UK Government will actually adhere to this vote.
As I have argued since before the referendum, people need access to the facts so we can have an informed debate.
The National Institute for Economic and Social Research has revealed that UK families are £600 a year worse off because of the decision to leave the EU.
As I have warned for some time, the UK stands to lose access to the trade deals that the EU currently has with 65 other countries. It is good that the UK Government is slowly catching up!
The East of Scotland European Consortium (ESEC) released more details of the £11 million worth of grants that the East of Scotland receives from Erasmus+.
The Electoral Commission is investigating whether Aaron Banks broke electoral financial rules during the EU referendum campaign.
I wrote a column exploring the origins of Brexit and the Conservative tradition of appeasing the Brexiteers.
Michael Gove has been backtracking on his commitment to animal welfare post-Brexit.
The UK Government has finally conceded that it will need a vote from the House of Commons to leave the EU. It is remarkable that they have fought against Parliament having a say for so long!
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has warned that Ireland may block further progress in negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU unless the UK provides a “credible roadmap” to deal with the issues surrounding the Irish border.
What is a ‘no deal’? Well it depends… a complete ‘no deal’ is total absurdity but, as the Institute for Government explains, there are various shades of absurdity on offer.
The Bank of England believes Brexit could cost 75,000 finance jobs
BaFin, the German financial regulator, has written to UK-based insurance companies to seek assurances of how they plan to deal with a hard Brexit.
The UK Government will pass a budget for Northern Ireland since power-sharing talks at Stormont have broken down.
Bruegel have published a study explaining how a fall in the value of the pound may not help UK trade.
Finally, if you fancy a longer read, the evidence given to the House of Commons by Sir Ivan Rogers - former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the EU - is now available in full and well worth the time.