We will seek to mitigate, as far as possible, the impacts of Brexit.
We understand that Brexit presents real challenges for many of Scotland’s people, businesses and communities. These may be particularly acute for the rural economy given challenges around population, the supply of labour and the Common Agricultural Policy.
We believe Scotland’s future is best served by continued EU membership, in line with the wishes of the Scottish people as expressed in the referendum in 2016. However, if Brexit proves to be inevitable, our interests are best protected by the UK remaining inside the European Single Market and Customs Union.
As we set out in ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment’, membership of the Single Market and Customs Union delivers economic benefits to Scotland. Brexit will significantly weaken our economy and result in slower economic growth and lower incomes than otherwise. A Brexit which results in the UK being outside the European Single Market and Customs Union will have the most damaging consequences for Scotland.
Leaving the Single Market and Customs Union would also compromise the vast range of common economic, social, consumer, and environmental standards that we have become accustomed to as a member of the EU. This is not acceptable to the Scottish Government nor, we believe, to the people of Scotland.
We strongly believe that a commitment to maintaining membership of the Single Market and Customs Union would not only avoid a no-deal or blindfold deal that would be so damaging, but would secure a withdrawal agreement and provide clarity on the future relationship.
Taking action to mitigate impacts, the Prepare for Brexit campaign, led by the enterprise and skills agencies, will help businesses review their plans in light of Brexit to ensure they can continue to develop their workforce, grow their business, export, innovate and access finance and investment.