SNP must explain how it will make Brexit work

19 Sep 2016

The SNP must start outlining to the people of Scotland how it’s going to make Brexit a success, rather than “complaining from the sidelines” about the result.

As part of a Holyrood debate tomorrow, the Scottish Conservatives will say – despite the uncertainty which struck immediately after the vote – the decision is made and people and businesses across Scotland want to move on.

Shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser will highlight how the Scottish Government could be focusing on ambitious plans for fishing, farming and tourism in the wake of the UK leaving the EU.

But instead, he will add, since the vote the nationalists have merely bemoaned the result and compounded uncertainty by threatening another independence referendum.

A series of statistics have suggested Scotland is performing worse than the rest of the UK in terms of growth and the wider economy.

And although unemployment figures last week suggested some improvement, the longer-term pattern is one of the economy north of the border lagging behind the rest of Britain.

Mr Fraser will also be critical of the SNP’s large business supplement, which makes a number of firms in Scotland the highest taxed in the UK.

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said:

“What we need to be aware of are the opportunities which will be afforded to Scotland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

“But the question is, what steps is the SNP taking to assist businesses to take advantage of these opportunities?

“We know that the fishing industry sees a great future outside the EU, but what is the Scottish Government doing to help develop this?

“And what is it doing to develop a new farming policy for Scotland, given that support payments will have to be paid domestically?

“The same goes for the future of exports and tourism too, not to mention a number of other sectors.

“There are a whole range of policy areas where our departure from the EU opens up opportunities.

“Yet rather than take these forward, rather than be positive about the future, all the SNP wants to do is sit on the sidelines and complain.

“Scottish ministers must be less downbeat, less pessimistic, and be more hopeful and show some leadership in seizing these chances.”

Notes to editors:

Shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser will be speaking in the Scottish Parliament as part of the ‘Scotland’s economy: responding to the EU referendum’ debate.