As Theresa May and her ever battling Cabinet hang their heads – and ours – over that dark abyss that is crash out of Europe, they apparently love the excitement so much they want to spin it out a bit longer. As we wait for yet another vote on her deal that has already failed twice, I do wonder what kind of democracy that is while ordinary voters are disallowed the opportunity to vote in a fresh referendum very unlike the 2016 fake promises.
In just a week and a few days before the crash out date, the Prime Minister has lost all credibility as she struggles to persuade MPs that her deal is better than no deal. No deal isn't an active choice, it's not something you decide you won't take. It's just what happens after failure. What would it really mean?
Cut off everything. The open market, agreed standards for food and drink, for drugs, toys, driving, employment rights, clothing, the right to be educated and work elsewhere in Europe, to drive without special permission, to enjoy the 60% of our fresh fruit and vegetables that come to us overnight, to name just a handful.
The UK is going to have to establish its own bespoke package of agencies which is not only going to be expensive but will also take time. In December, the Centre for European Reform research claimed that Brexit was costing the UK economy an enormous £500 million a week. The research suggested that the UK economy was 2.5% smaller at that point and public finances were taking the £26 billion a year hit. At this estimate, Brexit has cost the UK £64.5bn since the referendum in June 2016, a lot more than the £39 billion for our Brexit debts.
I prefer the 85p a week membership of the EU costs me.
In Scotland, our own GDP could drop by 7% according to a new report by the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist. At present, the UK is at number 23 at 2.20% in the league table compared, say, to Ireland at number 2 and 7.8%.
A ‘No Deal’ Brexit could have a dramatic impact on Scotland’s economy, with the potential for national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to fall by up to 7%, according to a new report by the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist.
The paper, ‘No Deal’ Brexit – Economic Implications for Scotland, sets out two potential ’No Deal’ scenarios, one of which would see short term disruption to supply chains lasting for a number of months, with the second scenario looking at an extended period of disruption.
Gross Domestic Product – or GDP – measures the state of the economy. The predicted fall of 7% would mean a drop of up to 20% in our exports. Uncertainty, in turn, frightens off the investments we need to the tune of £1bn in this year. A fall in international net migration would likely lead to lost revenues, further falls in the value of sterling will make our imports more expensive and everything we currently get tariff-free in the single market is going to cost up to 45% more under World Trade rules.
Even worse than that, there will be pressures on the Scottish economy that could push us back into recession. Austerity-Plus is looking increasingly likely.
These new figures are yet another warning that a no-deal Brexit would be devastating for communities in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.
A no-deal Brexit is not inevitable – but we know that Theresa May’s deal is dead in the water, with even her own party refusing to accept it. The SNP has fought tooth and nail to seek an extension to the Article 50 process, and find compromise to protect Scotland’s interests.
Scotland is being ignored by Westminster and it’s no wonder people have completely lost trust in the UK Government.
As Tory and Labour politicians ignore Scotland’s interests and stand in the way of us making decisions over our future, more and more people are drawn to the opportunities and hope for the future that independence offers.
We need to stop the clock on Brexit, rule out No Deal, which would cause economic damage to South Lanarkshire and prevent the Tories dragging Scotland out of the EU against our will.