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House of Commons Hansard
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02 November 2017
Volume 630
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4. What assessment he has made of the economic effect on Scotland in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement. [901556]

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17. What assessment he has made of the economic effect on Scotland in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement. [901569]

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The Government are committed to the best possible deal for the whole United Kingdom, a deal that works for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and all parts of England. We have been engaging with the Scottish Government and have been clear from the start that the devolved Administrations should be fully engaged in this process. The Government are undertaking a broader range of sectoral analysis covering the entirety of the UK economy, including Scotland.

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A London School of Economics report concluded that Scotland faces losing £30 billion in the event of a hard Brexit. Will the Minister advise how that compares with the Government’s own Brexit impact assessment for Scotland, and when will it be published?

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As we have said, the Government are undertaking a wide-ranging analysis covering the entirety of the UK economy, including Scotland. This will ensure that we take into account the individual circumstances of each part of the UK to inform our negotiating strategy. With regard to the content of that analysis, we have to reflect on the implications of yesterday’s motion and how best we meet the requirements set by the House for information to be passed on to the Select Committee, keeping in mind the fact that the documents they have requested do not exist in the form suggested in the motion.

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Scotland—indeed, the UK—has a significant pharmaceutical industry. The Government repeatedly talk about the option of leaving the EU without a deal, but is the Minister aware that the WTO drug list was last updated in 2010, so any drugs developed since then would face tariffs?

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The hon. Lady makes an important point. We have been engaging closely with the pharmaceuticals industry in Scotland and across the UK. Of course, she will have noted the joint letter from the Secretaries of State for Health and for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy setting out our intention to establish close co-operation with the European authorities, and there is huge mutual benefit in continuing to do so.

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My hon. Friend will be aware of the importance of the food and drink industry across Scotland, not least in my constituency in the north-east. What recent discussions has he had with the Scotland Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on ensuring the best deal for Scottish fishermen and seafood processing businesses in the UK as we leave the EU?

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My hon. Friend raises an important point. I assure him that we have been meeting regularly with the Scotland Office and with DEFRA colleagues to discuss these issues, which have also been discussed in the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) in relation to important principles that were agreed about where shared frameworks might be required and where they will not.

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Scotland is a significant beneficiary of the European Investment Bank. If Britain leaves the EIB after Brexit, will the Government replace it with a British investment bank, with equivalent resources?

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As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the UK is a significant shareholder in the European Investment Bank, as well as a significant beneficiary of its lending. As the Chancellor set out in his Mansion House speech, we will look at the opportunities for co-operation in this area when we come to the talks on the future relationship, but the UK will of course take whatever steps are necessary in the event that there is no deal. That is not our central scenario; we are working towards a constructive deal for both sides.