EU Deal Leaves Scotland On The Sidelines, Says Mike Russell

26 November 2018, 07:16


Scotland has been sidelined by the deal agreed between the UK and the EU, according to Scotland's Brexit Secretary Mike Russell.

Mr Russell said the Withdrawal Agreement, signed off by EU leaders in Brussels on Sunday, would also sell out vital national industries.

The Scottish Government said it will publish its analysis this week of the impact the deal could have on the Scottish economy and living standards.

Mr Russell said: "Far from providing certainty, this is a blindfold Brexit which will lock in years of negotiations and uncertainty with no guarantee there will even be any sort of trade deal at the end of the process.

"The UK Government's focus has been on Gibraltar and, rightly, Northern Ireland, but Scotland has been sidelined.

"It is not just the fishing industry that is going to be sold out by the Tories, the whole economy will be damaged if the Tories succeed in dragging Scotland out of the Single Market, which is eight times the size of the UK alone.

"This week we will publish evidence-based analysis of the damage this deal will do to jobs and living standards in Scotland and why we must instead stay in the EU or at least the Single Market and Customs Union."

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned Britain cannot expect to get a better Brexit deal if the UK Parliament rejects the agreement.

He told reporters in Brussels: "This is the deal. It's the best deal possible and the EU will not change its fundamental position when it comes to these issues."

Theresa May issued a "letter to the nation" on Saturday night in a bid to gain backing among the public and MPs for her deal.

However, First Minister Nicola Surgeon on Sunday morning tweeted: "I don't say this lightly, but almost nothing in this desperate letter is true.

"This is a bad deal, driven by the PM's self defeating red lines and continual pandering to the right of her own party.

"Parliament should reject it and back a better alternative - SM/CU or #PeoplesVote."

The deal will go to the House of Commons next month and must win the approval of MPs if it is to proceed.

The Prime Minister has been struggled to win over members of her own party, putting the deal at risk.