Scotland in Europe Update 10th November 2017

This week we have started to see indications of the trade choices we will face in the future. Wilbur Russ, Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, has warned that the UK must follow US regulations if it wants a US trade deal.

In response Michel Barnier has made clear that a trade deal with the EU will involve following their standards.

This means that we now face a choice of whether we follow the European model or the American model. This decision will set for generations to come what we will eat and how we will live. If we choose to head down the American route our food quality will be lowered. We need to stand up for the high standards we currently enjoy, and support the Scottish farmers who grow that food.


After a number of weeks of questions, committee meetings and wonderings, the UK Government has confirmed that their sectoral Brexit studies may not actually exist after all! Jolyon Maugham pointed out that David Davis has been at the very least misleading:

On the 6/17 "We've got 50, nearly 60 sector analyses already done"

And on the 11/17 "It is not the case that 58 sectoral impact assessments exist"

After the 6th Round of negotiations the UK still needs to provide more clarity.

John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), has said “Once again the UK government has shown its absolute unthinking contempt for the third sector. The UK government's lack of a negotiating strategy and incompetence in its dealing with the European Union makes it all the more likely that Brexit will see the UK come out of Europe worse off.”

UK-EU supply chains have already started to break down because of Brexit.

Indeed, the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply have warned that a quarter of UK businesses with more than 250 employees have already spent at least £100,000 preparing their supply chain for the split.

This piece in the New York Times shows the ongoing bemusement the rest of the world have towards Brexit.

The Scottish Government has said, after a meeting with the UK Government, that “until the power grab is removed from the EU Withdrawal Bill, we can continue to have cordial discussions but little progress will be made."

A number of car producers have warned that customs checks post Brexit could cost them ‘tens of millions’.

Italy’s junior minister for European affairs has said that there has been no new offer from the UK on the financial settlement. This is a major sticking point before negotiations can move onto the future trading and cooperation agreement.

UK ministers do not know how much it will cost to replace the EU agencies that we are losing.

The author of Article 50 is accusing Theresa May of misleading the British public over the revocability of Article 50.

Steve Bullock — who was a negotiator for the UK in the EU at the UK Permanent Representation to the EU from 2010-2014 — has written about his struggle to decide what is the worst thing about Brexit.

Germany’s Council of Economic Experts has advised that Brexit should be stopped.

The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney has said, “We believe it is in the best interests of the UK, economically, to stay in the Single Market and the Customs Union — or a union or customs partnership along similar lines — and that it is not too late for the UK to change course on this.”

Charles Grant is director of the Centre for European Reform and has written a useful analysis of the negotiations progress.