Brexit: one year to go.
With one year to go before the UK is due to leave the EU, the Scottish Government today set out its top priorities for the Brexit negotiations.
Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, said Scotland had so far been excluded from the Brexit process by the UK Government but the voice of the people of Scotland must now be heard.
The government has published a report, Protecting What Matters – What’s at stake for individuals in the Brexit talks, which sets out the key issues people want answers to about Brexit and their future.
Mr Russell said it is essential Single Market membership is put back on the table in order to resolve many of the concerns raised.
“There is one year to go before Brexit but a little over six months until an exit deal must be signed.
“It is clear that even at this late stage there is a fog of confusion and concern about what lies ahead. People and business have spent nearly two years without information on crucial issues that affects their future .
“In the report we are publishing today we set out the questions people have and, crucially, how they can be answered.
“Throughout this process the UK Government has failed to answer legitimate concerns and questions about the impact on jobs, rights and protections, family life, public services. That is unacceptable and those concerns must be heard and acted upon.
“For the Scottish Government our top priorities in these negotiations are jobs, living standards and protecting the NHS.
“And it is clear from what many people have said to us that their priorities can only be met by remaining in the Single Market.
“A commitment to keep Scotland and the UK in the Single Market – the world’s biggest marketplace which is eight times the size of the UK alone – would provide the clarity people desperately need.
“But the hard Brexit favoured by the UK Government will depress economic growth, cut tax revenues and make it harder to attract the doctors, nurses and other health workers we need.
“The UK Government has so far failed to meet in any way its commitment that the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations should oversee the negotiations and that objectives should be agreed.
“That must change. Scotland’s voice must be heard and Scotland must stay in the Single Market.”
The publication is available on the Scottish Government website.