An SNP MSP has said the damage caused by leaving the EU are “all too evident” in response to the latest Brexit report.
The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report EU Exit: UK Border Post Transition, released on Wednesday, found that while it was difficult to distinguish how much trade had suffered since the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31 2020 due to the pandemic or Brexit, it was “clear that EU exit has had an impact”.
It said that far from freeing up firms to boost productivity and contribution to the economy, the “only detectable impact” of Brexit so far has been to increase the burdens on businesses.
In response to the report, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson said it shows that there is “a profound absence of Brexit benefits”, adding: “The damage, delays and dislocation caused by leaving the EU are all too evident.”
He said: “We know that Scotland’s total trade with the EU fell by 24% in the year to September 2021 compared to the equivalent period in 2019.
“Scotland’s trade with non-EU countries fell by 16% over the same period.
“This damage to trade reflects not just the impact of the pandemic, but also the reckless approach the UK Government has taken to leaving the EU.”
Mr Robertson said despite claims that the UK Government will cut red tape following EU Exit: “Brexit has been the direct cause of trade friction, additional checks and bureaucracy and increased administration costs.”
He added: “Brexit is an ongoing calamity: for the economy, for business, for the young, for workers, and for our society and let us not forget that the decision to leave the EU, and the terms on which we left it, were taken against Scotland’s wishes and went firmly against our outward-facing, co-operative and internationalist ethos.
“We share with the EU a vision for Europe that embodies democratic values, promotes the wellbeing of all of society, rises fully to the challenge of the global climate emergency and supports a sustainable economic recovery from the global pandemic.”