The Scottish Tories only MP in Scotland spoke to the party conference in Glasgow.
THE SCOTTISH SECRETARY is urging the Scottish government to join “Team UK” to get the best possible deal when the UK leaves the EU.
David Mundell, who spoke to the Scottish Tory party faithful in Glasgow, said that both the UK and Scottish Governments want the same outcomes such as free trade with the EU and protecting workers rights.
This is despite the EU Commission and several leaders stating that the Uk Government could not “pick and choose” its Brexit menu during future negotiations.
Mundell said: “We are committed to bringing the current framework of environmental regulation into domestic law with our Great Repeal Bill. We want to continue our close collaboration with European partners on science and innovation.
“We want the freest trade possible between the UK and the EU, and we will pursue an ambitious Free Trade Agreement.” David Mundell
“We will continue to work with the EU on security, to fight terrorism and uphold justice across Europe. Free Trade with the EU is also the Scottish Government’s priority. We want the freest trade possible between the UK and the EU, and we will pursue an ambitious Free Trade Agreement.
“And we are determined to avoid a sudden ‘cliff edge’ exit from the EU that would prove disruptive to business. That’s why we will seek a phased process of implementation where necessary.”
“And we are determined to avoid a sudden ‘cliff edge’ exit from the EU that would prove disruptive to business.” David Mundell
The UK government intends to go for a hard Brexit that would mean that the UK will be leaving the Single Market and having more immigration controls. Although, the Scottish Government’s position is that Scotland should remain in the Single Market, even if the rest of the UK chooses to leave.
The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, told the Scottish Parliament in December when launching the Scottish Government paper on ‘Scotland’s place in Europe’ that it was the most detailed plan on dealing with Brexit since the EU referendum last June.
She said: “The result of the EU referendum means that Scotland is faced with the biggest threat in modern times to our long-term economic well-being.
“A hard Brexit, taking us out of the EU and the Single Market, could have a devastating effect on jobs, investment and standards of living, with research suggesting up to 80,000 jobs lost in Scotland and earnings per head £2,000 lower after a decade.”
The UK government has signalled its intention to trigger article 50 in order to begin the process of leaving the EU before the end of the month. However, they have been forced to bring a Brexit bill to the House of Commons after a Supreme Court judgement in January found that Parliament had to be consulted on the Brexit deal.
“A hard Brexit, taking us out of the EU and the Single Market, could have a devastating effect on jobs, investment and standards of living, with research suggesting up to 80,000 jobs lost in Scotland and earnings per head £2,000 lower after a decade.” Nicola Sturgeon
Last week, the bill was returned to the Commons after an amendment in the House of Lords guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals to stay in the UK post-Brexit was added. However, government sources say that only rebellion of 30 Tory MPs in the Commons would mean the amendment would be accepted by the UK Government.
The change to the bill requires the government to introduce proposals within three months of Article 50 to ensure that EU citizens living in the UK have the same residence right after Brexit.
Mundell added: “We’ve also been very, very clear on the status of EU nationals living in Scotland and the rest of the UK. We want to secure their right to stay as quickly as we can, and also secure the rights of UK citizens living and working in the rest of the EU.
“So even where the Scottish and UK governments disagree about the means, we largely seek the same ends. We want the same outcomes.
“And I genuinely believe we can do what the people of Scotland want and expect us to do work together to deliver the best deal for Scotland and the whole of the UK.”
Picture courtesy of David Thomson
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