Scotland & the EU

BfS welcomes Scottish Government’s Brexit impact analysis, but says UK Government is deliberately withholding impact information

Written by Michelle Rodger

Business for Scotland has welcomed today’s Scottish Government Brexit impact analysis, Scotland’s Place in Europe, People, Jobs and Investment report, but CEO Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp has voiced concerns over the lack of information being provided by the UK Government.

“Clearly it is in the best interests of everyone in business – in Scotland and the UK – to understand what is going to happen after Brexit, yet the UK government is deliberately trying to conceal the damage a hard Brexit will wreak to the UK economy.

“The Scottish Government analysis has predicted a £12.7 billion a year blow to the Scottish economy, this equates to the loss of around £2300 per annum for each person north of the Border by the year 2030 – the equivalent of an 8.5 per cent drop in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This analysis is actually considerably more negative than that which we predicted previously.

“At the time we predicted leaving the EU would cost Scotland £2.1bn in revenues and £7bn in GDP a year and we were criticised for being overly negative. But now, as more information comes to light, all the analysis – by the Scottish Government, the Fraser of Allander Institute and others such as the report commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and many more – has predicted that the impact will be significantly worse.

“It is no wonder then, that the UK government is deliberately trying to keep the true impact of Brexit hidden.

“The key issue is that for people to understand just how damaging Brexit will be, we need to know if the UK Government really would damage the economy with a No Deal Brexit, and therefore we believe the Scottish Government is correct in waiting until later in the year when more details on the Brexit deal will be available before calling a second independence referendum.”

Business for Scotland actively campaigned for a Remain vote, providing information and research analysis during the EU referendum – it was the leading business voice for the Remain campaign.

A survey of 758 business leaders and owners, carried out by Business for Scotland in December 2017, found that:

  • 90% did not trust the UK Government to secure the best deal for Scotland
  • 44.57% of all respondents had direct commercial dealings with either customers or suppliers within the EU
  • 84.37% voted Remain and 87.52% would vote Remain in second referendum
  • 11.26% voted Leave and 11.55% would vote leave in a second referendum – this shows that attitudes are hardening, but that the vast majority of past non-voters would now vote remain
  • 78.73% believe there should be a second EU referendum after Brexit terms are clear
  • 88.77% did not trust the UK Government to secure the best deal for the UK
  • Whilst 45.77% believe the UK Government will fail to secure a deal of any kind only 19.18% thought the UK would be able to secure a trade deal at all

Leaving the EU would cost the Scottish economy £2.1bn –



About the author

Michelle Rodger

Michelle is a former national newspaper journalist who co-founded an award-winning IT business before launching Tartan Cat Communications. A social media and crowdfunding expert she manages media and communications for Business for Scotland.

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