The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has written to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May with her concerns over leaving not only the EU but also of leaving the European Customs Union.
The First Minister recalled the commitment made at the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) to the devolved administrations having full involvement in the Brexit process.
In her letter Nicola Sturgeon states:
“I expect that following the meeting of your Cabinet Sub-Committee there will remain full scope for the Scottish Government, and other devolved administrations, to influence the shape of the UK approach and objectives for negotiations.
“In light of the timetable ahead of the European Council on 22 March 2018, there must be urgent and meaningful discussion between us to try to agree a UK position and therefore enable our European partners to respond.”
The Scottish Government have produced their analysis of leaving the EU in the document “Scotland’s Place in Europe: People, Jobs and Investment” which concludes:
“A Brexit which results in the UK being outside the European Single Market and Customs Union will have the most damaging consequences for Scotland.”
The first chapter of the report deals with the economic implications of leaving the single market and the customs union. It claims that :
“LEAVING THE EU AND THE SINGLE MARKET COULD REDUCE SCOTLAND’S ECONOMIC OUTPUT BY 8.5% BY 2030, EQUIVALENT TO A LOSS OF £2,300 A YEAR FOR EACH PERSON IN SCOTLAND.”
The UK Government has been very coy about releasing any information but leaked papers published recently paint an extremely worrying picture.
In contrast to this lack of information and analysis from the UK Government, SPICe has produced several briefings for Scotland’s parliamentarians.
In Common UK Frameworks After Brexit its research reports that:
“The UK government has identified 142 distinct policy areas that fall into the ‘intersection’ between EU law and devolved legislative competence in at least one of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”
Despite this the UK Government has failed to uphold the commitment it made at the JMC to involve the devolved administrations fully – including taking decisions on Brexit arrangements which were opposed by those administrations.
It was agreed in October 2017 at the JMC that Common Frameworks should be established. For Scotland the number of areas this would affect amounts to 111. For Wales it is 64 and for Northern Ireland a whopping 141.
Above are the departments affected with the devolved administrations coloured appropriately.
The UK Government intends to take back to its control all the 142 distinct policy areas which currently have been formed under the standard of European Law. This has come to be known as a Power Grab. The Scottish Government argues that the 111 ones which pertain to the interests of Scotland should go directly to the Scottish Parliament.
In her letter to Theresa May the First Minister reminded her that Scotland voted to remain “and it is the role of the Scottish Government to make sure that their interests are protected.”
Here are the areas which are currently covered by EU Law but which the UK Government intends to take to itself rather than they go to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland despite being devolved matters.
You can view and download the research paper which includes the above graphics here.
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Reporter: Fiona Grahame