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Brexit research shows economic risk to Scotland

Published: 23 Aug 2016 08:52

Analysis highlights economic implications of being outside EU.

Leaving the European Union is projected to cost the Scottish economy up to £11.2 billion per year and Scottish public finances up to £3.7 billion per year.

Analysis published by the Scottish Government today, drawing on research by a range of external organisations, suggests that by 2030, Scottish GDP is projected to be between £1.7 billion and £11.2 billion per year lower than it would have been if Brexit does not occur. Tax revenue is projected to be between £1.7 billion and £3.7 billion lower.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the analysis was further evidence of the need to protect Scotland's relationship with the EU.

Today's research shows that pursing an option short of full EU membership risks damaging Scottish exports, makes the country a less attractive location for overseas investors and reduces future economic growth and prosperity.

This paper is the first in a series the Scottish Government plans to publish to look at the potential impact on Scotland of the UK leaving the European Union.

The First Minister will hold a press conference later today to discuss the paper in more detail.

Speaking ahead of the event, she said:

"This paper shows, in the starkest possible terms, the potentially huge cost to Scotland of being taken out of the European Union and the single market.

"This analysis – based on a wide range of sources – demonstrates that leaving the EU, under any potential alternative arrangement, will have a profound and long-lasting impact on the public finances and the wider economic and societal wellbeing of both Scotland and the UK as a whole.

"That stark picture outlined today means that, whatever the model of relationship with the EU which is chosen by the UK Government in their negotiations before and after Article 50 is triggered, it will not be as economically beneficial as full EU membership.

"The only way to protect Scotland's economy – and the clear benefits which come from being part of the world's biggest single market – is to work to ensure we protect our relationship with the EU.

"My government is absolutely committed to pursuing every possible avenue and option to do that.

"I have already had useful talks with the new Prime Minister, the EU institutions and individual member states in order to pursue that objective, and these are discussions which will continue in the weeks and months ahead.

"It is simply unacceptable that Scotland faces the prospect risk being dragged out of the EU against its will, and today's paper shows the possibly massive costs that would entail, with all the wider repercussions that would be likely to ensue in terms of jobs, investment and long-term prosperity."