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Scotland in Europe Update 9th February 2018

This week we have finally found out what the UK Government thinks Brexit is going to cost Scotland, and their figures almost mirror those that the Scottish Government came up with. There is no good economic news in Brexit: any outcome will make you, your family and your community poorer. We stand to lose from 2.5% to 9% GDP over 15 years depending on how hard a Brexit is inflicted on Scotland. The full regional breakdown can be read here:

This is why Scotland must stay in the Single Market and Customs Union to minimise the damage caused by leaving the EU. If a special status can be considered for Northern Ireland, as today’s announcements from the EU reveal, then it surely can for Scotland as well. You can read more about this here:


Events this week also showed that the UK Government continues to disrespect the voice of Scotland and its parliament in the Brexit discussions. At lunchtime yesterday, MSPs were sent a letter from Robin Walker MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, inviting them to read the economic analysis submitted to the House of Commons.

The letter was dated the day before and only allows for appointments to be booked either yesterday – the same day they received the letter - or today. Given the fact that many MSPs had inescapable obligations in Parliament yesterday and in their constituencies today, significant numbers will not be able to view this analysis. You can read the full letter here:

This is completely unacceptable behaviour and denigrates Holyrood and the people of Scotland. The UK Government is treating MSPs as second-class representatives compared with Westminster MPs. MPs can view this analysis whenever Parliament is sitting and during recess. Yet MSPs are being restricted to two days.

We know from leaks at Westminster that the UK Government is pursuing a hard Brexit policy which its own analysis shows will remove billions of pounds from the Scottish economy. Yet because of the ridiculous terms set by Westminster, the Scottish Parliament will not be able to properly consider or debate the most recent reports. Meanwhile the Scottish Government’s recurring calls for remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union continue to go unheeded.

Despite this madness I and others across the European Parliament, Holyrood and Westminster will do our best to ensure that the voice and interests of Scotland are represented.



Michel Barnier has warned that leaving the Customs Union will result in borders.

Paris Gourtsoyannis wrote a good piece on why Brexit is going to go wrong.

There are increasing fears over how extradition law will function once the UK has left the EU.

Stigma against EU citizens in the UK is getting worse, warns Thomas Roulet of King’s College London.

The Sun has reported that the Japanese ambassador Koji Tsuruoka said: “If there’s no profitability of continuing operations in the UK, no private company can continue operations. It is as simple as that. It is high stakes all of us need to keep in mind.”

The Commission published its preparatory work on the future of trade in services between the UK and the EU.

and on international agreements.

Jean-Claude Piris, former General Manager of the Legal Services of the Council, has argued that for a transition deal to be legal it must be short.

Fruit and vegetables are being left to rot in Scottish fields because of the reduction in numbers of migrant labour.

The First Minister has written to Theresa May calling for more engagement on Brexit.

Cambridge University Press have published some modelling on how different arguments played out during the referendum. It is not light reading, but worth the time.

The British Chamber of Commerce has written to Theresa May asking for clarity of Brexit.

Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, has asked the UK to clarify what customs relationship it wants with the EU in the future.

Manfred Weber, leader of the EPP in the European Parliament, has warned that the EU27 still have no idea what Britain actually wants.

A group of UK citizens in the Netherlands have won the right to take a case about their loss of EU citizenship to case to European Court of Justice.

Spencer Livermore made an excellent speech in the House of Lords making the case for freedom of movement.

UKTPO have done some work on which Manufacturing Sectors are most vulnerable to Brexit. The conclusion is not surprising: “none of the five Brexit scenarios that we model leads to a positive outcome for UK manufacturing.”

The UK Government’s white paper on post Brexit immigration to be delayed until autumn.

The Scottish Government has called for a tailored migration system for Scotland.

There is a discussion paper explaining this available here:

Finally, my colleague Molly Scott Cato has produced this website shining a light on the men (for they are predominantly men!) who bankrolled and facilitated Brexit.