Brexit debacle heats up in the Borders

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The never-ending saga of Brexit continues, local politicians are ‘disappointed’ with each other and the CBI has estimated Scotland’s annual loss of output at £14 billion by 2034 if we crash out of the EU with no deal.

After voting against Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement last week Borders MP John Lamont (Conservative) welcomed the announcement that she will go back to the EU to seek an amendment to the Agreement. However, he was disappointed “that the SNP and Labour have failed to meaningfully engage in cross party talks by making demands they know the Prime Minister cannot accept” - a second referendum and ruling out a No-Deal Brexit.

Similarly disappointed, but for a different reason was Borders MSP Christine Grahame (SNP) who criticised the Scottish Labour Party for siding with the Tories by refusing to rule out the threat of a no-deal Brexit in Holyrood last week. During a debate on Scotland’s Future Economy, the SNP called on the UK Government to ‘rule out a no deal Brexit’ - the SNP amendment was passed by 70 to 47, with the Green Party and Liberal Democrats supporting the amendment, and the Tories and Labour Party voting against the motion to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

“The Tories continue to put their own party’s civil war on Europe ahead of the interests of people in the Borders who are genuinely concerned about the uncertainty this ongoing Brexit bourach continues to create around jobs, livelihoods and the rights of EU citizens,” said Ms Grahame.

The devastating long-term economic impact of a ‘no deal’ Brexit on Scotland was laid bare in fresh analysis of government figures by the CBI.

The study reveals how Scotland could be among the areas of the UK significantly exposed to the economic fallout from leaving the EU without a deal.

The agri-food sector, which employs thousands, is likely to be severely impacted as it is particularly exposed to the risk of higher tariffs and trade costs.