Hard Brexit with no trade deal 'would cost Scottish economy £12.7bn a year'

15 January 2018, 11:19 | Updated: 15 January 2018, 12:04

The First Minister

A hard Brexit without a trade agreement would cost Scotland's economy £12.7 billion a year, Scottish Government analysis has found.

The figure is equivalent to an 8.5% drop in GDP by 2030 - or £2,300 per person in Scotland per year - compared to retaining full European Union membership, the study claims.

Nicola Sturgeon has accused Theresa May of a "fundamental dereliction of duty" for failing to produce economic assessments on the impact of Brexit.

The First Minister said the document sets out three different Brexit outcomes on GDP, trade and immigration, and indicates remaining in the European single market and the customs union would be the least damaging economically.

The options analysed are staying in the single market and customs union, a preferential trade agreement or reverting to World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.

The paper comes as the SNP and other opposition parties ramped up their campaign against a so-called hard Brexit, with Labour facing pressure to join.

The UK Government wants to leave the single market for a bespoke trade deal with the EU.

Brexit Secretary David Davis told MPs last month the UK Government had not carried out any economic impact assessments of Brexit on the UK.

He said "sectoral analysis" of different industries had been drawn up, but not a "forecast" of what would happen after Brexit.

The First Minister said: "For the sake of jobs, the economy and the next generation, today we are calling on the UK Government to drop its hard Brexit red-lines so that Scotland and the UK can stay inside the Single Market and Customs Union.

"Scotland is particularly well-placed to take advantage of the developing and deepening Single Market - the world's biggest economy of 500 million people, eight times the size of the UK.

"Our brilliant world-class universities, our unrivalled potential in renewable energy, our life sciences industry, our digital sector and other key areas of the Scottish economy are all in prime position to reap the rewards of these developments.

"That will mean more jobs and higher wages. It would be a tragedy for future generations if we let that opportunity pass us by.

"The fact that the Prime Minister wants to leave not only the political structures of the EU but come out of the European Economic Area shows just how extreme the UK Government position is. With just weeks to go before the opening of talks on the future relationship that extreme stance must be dropped."

The SNP administration has previously called for a "differentiated deal" for Scotland, allowing it to remain in the single market even if the rest of the UK leaves.

The Scottish Conservatives urged Ms Sturgeon to make it clear she is no longer pursuing such a deal and called on her to back UK-wide trade and immigration rules.

A UK Government spokeswoman said: ''We are seeking a deal that works for the whole of the UK, that delivers on the result of the EU referendum.

''Rather than trying to undermine the result of a democratic referendum, we urge the Scottish Government to work with us to ensure, as we leave the EU, we protect the UK's vital internal market."

Theresa May's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister has made clear her commitment to getting a good deal which serves the interests of all parts of the United Kingdom, and that we are confident of doing so.

"We have been clear that we are carrying out extensive preparations in relation to delivering Brexit and the will of the British people."