Calls for further engagement on the Northern Ireland protocol.
Scottish ministers are calling on the UK government to withdraw legislation to abandon parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiated with the European Union.
Following the publication of the legislation, External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson reiterated the danger that failure to comply with parts of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement could lead to a trade war as the Kingdom UK is already close to recession and in the midst of a cost of living crisis. .
Mr. Robertson said:
“It is extremely reckless and frustrating that the UK government has decided to introduce this legislation. The UK government has deliberately embarked on an entirely avoidable collision course with the EU. Brexit is expected to cause more harm to the economy than COVID, and this action by the UK government could cause significant further damage to our economy as we already face the worst cost of living crisis in decades.
“Scotland has direct interests at stake in the protocol, particularly in trade and border control, and yet the UK government has shown no willingness to engage us on these issues. It also has a direct impact on other Scottish interests, such as participation in the flagship Horizon Europe research programme.
“We have repeatedly called on the UK government to step back from this confrontational approach and instead focus on dialogue with our European partners, who are ready to work in partnership to find a negotiated solution. These calls were also ignored.
“We urge the UK government to return to the negotiating table and withdraw this bill. It is inconceivable to think that the Scottish Government would recommend legislative approval of a bill which would have a negative impact on the Scottish economy, which could be considered to breach international law and risk starting a trade war with our fellow citizens. Europeans, which is in no one’s interest. ”
Forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility indicate that the impact of Brexit on productivity in the UK will be worse in the long term than COVID-19. The OBR analysis indicates that Brexit will reduce the UK’s potential productivity by 4% in the long term, while the pandemic is expected to reduce it by 2%.
Horizon Europe and the Northern Ireland Protocol: letter to the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation