Scotland in Europe Update 20th October 2017

No deal, no tariffs, here we go again… this bulletin feels a little like Groundhog Day (as does the whole UK Government Brexit ‘strategy’ at times) but once more I must re-iterate that the line ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ is madness.

An absolute ‘no deal’ means no planes in the sky, queues from London to Dover, and the stock-market in free fall. I still don’t think this is what the UK Government has in mind, although plenty of the Tory Brexiteers clearly do as David Davis’s statement to the Commons illustrated.

The Resolution Foundation think-tank released a report this week showing that a family’s weekly shop would rise by 2.7%, pushing up annual spending by around £260. In 3.2 million households this would be even worse, with rises of £500 or more if we left on ‘most favoured nation’ WTO tariffs. The full report can be read here:

Prime Minister Theresa May has also written to EU nationals in an unsuccessful bid to provide reassurance.

Frankly, this is pretty offensive and contains some outright lies. She opens by emphasising that “When we started this process, some accused us of treating EU nationals as bargaining chips. Nothing could have been further from the truth.”

Unfortunately, Liam Fox did exactly that at Tory party conference last year when he said that guaranteeing their rights “would be to hand over one of our main cards in the negotiations”.

Rest assured I will keep fighting for the rights of EU citizens, whatever the UK Government is doing.



Steve Peers does an excellent job of explaining why ‘no deal’ is dangerous empty rhetoric in this thread of tweets responding to John Redwood.

And here is my National article on the subject from June.

The OECD has concluded that: “Maintaining the closest economic relationship with the European Union will be absolutely key, for the trade of goods and services as well as the movement of labour”.

57% of all Europeans and 55% of UK citizens agree that "taking everything into account", the UK has benefited from EU membership.

Prime Minister Theresa May has again failed to get talks on the transition deal started, however there’s light at the end of the tunnel with her acknowledgement of the scope and scale of the necessary financial settlement.

And EU leaders have agreed to start internal discussions on how to approach to the trade talks once the required progress has been made.

Meanwhile May’s dinner with Jean Claude Juncker simply left Brussels mystified.

The UK Government is the party holding Brexit talks back, not the EU, writes Martin Sandbu in the Financial Times.

The EU Council agreed that they would begin to discuss between the 27, i.e. without the UK, what a future UK-EU relationship could look like.

Macron emphasised that any concessions would not be given on the basis of a speech from Theresa May. They must be actually in the negotiations. There is a long way to go yet.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising have concluded that the industry is in limbo because of Brexit.

The UK creative sector is making plans to move elsewhere if Brexit forces them to.

Hate crime in England and Wales has risen by 29% partly in response to the EU Referendum.

The FT have published a great article by Alan Beattie explaining what tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) are, and why they matter.

The National Board of Trade of Sweden is to draw up a basis for Swedish trading interests in the EU's negotiations with the UK about a new trade relationship after Brexit.

There has been some progress between the Scottish and UK Government in organising structures to discuss Brexit but, still no progress in persuading the UK to listen to the Scottish Government proposals.

John Bruton, Taoiseach of Ireland from 1994 to 1997, has argued that “Anxieties and obsessions, arising from historic divisions in the British Conservative Party, have led to an artificially inflexible and brittle interpretation of the meaning of the 2016 Referendum result”.

The CEO of Goldman Sachs has publically acknowledged the firm is shifting emphasis to Frankfurt due to Brexit.

The Institute for Government have produced this handy explainer of the various trading options the UK could pursue.