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Leaving the EU: No Deal

Volume 663: debated on Wednesday 24 July 2019

3. What recent assessment he has made of the economic effect on Scotland of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. (912061)

The Government delivered on our commitment to provide objective analysis to Parliament of how exiting the EU may affect the economy of the UK and its sectors, nations and regions in the long run.

Previous estimates have indicated that a no-deal Brexit could cost Scotland over 100,000 jobs. On that basis, will the Secretary of State confirm to the House that he will never serve in a Government whose policy is to leave without a deal?

My position on no deal is quite clear compared to the hon. Gentleman’s. On the three occasions that I had the opportunity to vote for a deal, I did so; he and most of his Labour colleagues did not.

Deal or no deal, Scotland faces a £1 billion financial hole, £737 million of which will be bridged by funds from Westminster funded by other parts of the United Kingdom. What analysis has my right hon. Friend done of how deep that hole would be if Scotland was separated from the rest of the United Kingdom?

It is well known that there would be a multibillion-pound funding gap in the event of Scottish independence that could only be dealt with by significant tax rises or cuts in services. Those who propose independence have still not answered the question on where that money is to be found.

A no-deal Brexit will be catastrophic for Scotland’s hill farmers, especially those looking to export sheepmeat to the European Union. That is not just my view but the view of the National Farmers Union Scotland and the NFU across the four parts of the United Kingdom. Can the Secretary of State give me and them some assurance that he will not just sit in Cabinet and watch their livelihoods destroyed?

I have been very clear throughout my time in Cabinet about the importance of agriculture to Scotland and the needs of Scotland’s agriculture industry, and I will continue to be so.