Scottish Government no-deal Brexit preparations includes £7m poverty fund
The no-deal Brexit preparations published yesterday by the Scottish Government have revealed that a £7 million poverty fund will be implemented if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The £7m Rapid Poverty Mitigation Fund will be initiated in the event of a no-deal Brexit, alongside other initiatives such as the Scottish Medicines Shortage Response Group to safeguard vulnerable citizens, protect food and medicine supplies and support businesses.
The overview document of the preparations outlines the depth and scope of work underway, suggests what actions the UK Government should take and sets out the challenges Scotland may nevertheless face in the event of a ‘no deal’ on October 31st.
Plans have also been prepared for the old port in Stranraer to be used to hold up to 300 HGVs if traffic flows between Northern Ireland and Scotland increase.
Farmers and crofters are receiving 95% of their Common Agricultural Policy payments early to shield them from the immediate effects of a ‘no deal’ and consideration is being given to increasing Marine Scotland’s surveillance capabilities.
The report states that preparations are being made “unnecessarily difficult” by the lack of engagement and information from the UK Government.
Scottish Ministers have been invited to only eight out of more than 50 meetings of the UK Government’s EU Exit Operations committee.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, John Swinney, deputy first minister, said: “The document we have published today sets out not just the measures we are taking to mitigate the worst impacts of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, but also the areas where we require action from the UK Government.
“It is the product of an extensive programme of work. It is important, though, to be clear that there is no amount of preparation that could ever make us entirely ready for the needless and significant impact of a ‘no deal’.
“There is no doubt that a ‘no deal’ outcome would have profound consequences for jobs, investment and living standards across Scotland. To even countenance ‘no deal’ is illogical and economically illiterate. The UK Government should do the responsible thing and rule it out now.”